The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday created a new sheriff's civilian oversight commission and appointed its nine members, moves aimed at restoring trust in the department, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Commissioners will review and make policy recommendations, act as a liaison between residents and the sheriff, and obtain feedback on use-of-force incidents, according to the ordinance creating the body. It will also investigate "systemic Sheriff-related issues or complaints affecting the community" through an office of inspector general.
Under a memorandum of agreement with the Sheriff's Department, Inspector General Max Huntsman has access to personnel records and documents from pending investigations. However, he and his staff aren't allowed to take copies of those documents, and they can view them only on the premises of the Sheriff's Department. Huntsman said the department has so far allowed him all the access he's required.
Brian Williams, the commission's executive director, said the commission's work will focus mainly on the Sheriff Department's policies. It will not be involved in disciplinary actions against officers, he said. Among the issues the commission can review are inspector general's reports, such as a recent one in which the watchdog found that violence within jails is rising, he said.