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Open City Hall Camarillo
Open Town Hall

The Camarillo City Council recognizes that there is a strong desire for community understanding about law enforcement practices in Camarillo. The Camarillo Police Chief will provide an educational presentation on this topic and requests input on what to address during the presentation.

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7 registered statements

Name not available

September 9, 2020, 6:26 PM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

The Camarillo Police Department is not its own entity, rather, it falls under the umbrella of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office since the City contracts for police services with the County. The Sheriff’s Office is already subject to oversight from various entities throughout the County and State. For example, the Ventura County Grand Jury is a body of citizens mandated by the California State Constitution and the California Penal Code to serve as a “voice of the people and a conscience of the community.” (Introduction to Ventura County Grand Jury) Among other things, the Grand Jury acts as the public’s “watchdog” by investigating and reporting on the affairs of local government, including the Sheriff’s Office. Its investigations can be in response to a public complaint but can also be internally generated. Grand juries have almost complete independence from the courts and legislative or administrative bodies.

At a State level, groups such as the Board of State and Community Corrections, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, and the California Department of Justice have oversight into certain aspects of the Sheriff’s Office, among others.

Barbara Ito

September 9, 2020, 5:19 PM

Alva Aguirre

September 9, 2020, 1:21 PM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

A member of the Sheriff’s Office will be contacting you to discuss this incident.

Kay Wolverton Ito

September 9, 2020, 10:37 AM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

Not all Sheriff’s deputies are required to complete the Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy. We do hire lateral peace officers who previously worked at other law enforcement agencies, however, each lateral must pass the same background investigation that any other deputy hired by the VCSO passes. Additionally, they can only be hired as a lateral if they completed a California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certified academy.

Heather Schmidt

September 8, 2020, 5:47 PM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

There are many opportunities for Camarillo residents to engage in community safety. In Camarillo, we have 59 Neighborhood Watch groups, which we use to communicate pressing safety issues and crime trends. We also use Neighborhood Watch to receive information from the community.

The Camarillo Police Department usually hosts two Citizen Academies each year. The academy is a 12week program. Participants meet deputies from various units throughout the agency, tour our dispatch center, jails, Air Unit, Training Academy and many other areas. It is an eye-opening academy that is meant to educate the public on our operations.

We also encourage members of the community to sign up for ride alongs. These ride alongs occur day or night for part of a shift and allows citizens to see law enforcement up close. There is no better way for a community member to experience what our deputies experience than through a ride along.

We also have volunteer programs at the Camarillo Police Department, including the Citizen Patrol and Disaster Area Response Team (DART). The Citizen Patrol allows volunteers to wear a uniform and patrol the city conducting vacation house checks, conducting traffic control during vehicle collisions and at special events. They act as extra sets of eyes and ears during their shifts. The DART team members receive specialized training in natural disaster response, and most recently worked extra fire watch patrols during high wind events during fire season.

Daniel Goldberg

September 8, 2020, 5:46 PM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

Unfortunately, funding for local school districts does not work this way. Funding is made up of a combination of federal, state and local sources, including income taxes and property taxes, among others. The Police Department cannot simply “donate” portions of their budget to another governmental entity.

Barbara Ito

September 3, 2020, 12:24 PM

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Response from Camarillo Police Chief

The Sheriff’s Office believes that a relationship of confidence and trust with the public is essential to effective law enforcement. Law enforcement personnel often face a difficult task. They must enforce the law in a fair and impartial manner and still protect the rights of all parties involved. They come in contact with people under the most stressful circumstances and yet must remain patient and courteous. They must exercise good judgement at all times, though they are often called upon to make split-second decisions that others have days and weeks to dissect. They see the worst sides of life but are still expected to give only their best. Deputies must be free to exercise their best judgement and to initiate law enforcement action in a reasonable, lawful and impartial manner without fear of reprisal, and they have an obligation to meticulously respect the rights of all persons.

Complaints against a Sheriff’s employee can be made by another employee who becomes aware of misconduct, a supervisor who receives a complaint from any source alleging misconduct, or even an anonymous or third-party complaint. For those instances when a member of the public is not satisfied with the behavior or performance of any member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, we’ve created a complaint process that can be initiated either in-person or online. Instructions for filing a complaint against a Sheriff’s Office employee can be found here:

https://www.venturasheriff.org/contact/complaint/

The Sheriff’s Professional Standards Bureau is designed to protect the integrity of the Office of the Sheriff and all of its personnel. Only through a citizen’s trust and confidence in their police is effective law enforcement possible. Investigations are generally handled by the Professional Standards Bureau and in some instances, depending on the allegation, complaints can also be handled by a sergeant at the divisional level, with oversight form the Professional Standards Bureau. These investigations include interviewing the complainant and witnesses, reviewing evidence like surveillance video, body worn camera video and written reports, reviewing the employees training file and eventually interviewing the employee.

California law provides that investigations be completed within one year, however, we strive to complete the overwhelming majority of cases within 90 days, although complex cases can take longer. All complaint investigation findings are reviewed by the Internal Affairs Captain and Professional Standards Commander. Any complaint that is sustained and results in discipline is reviewed by an Assistant Sheriff and County Counsel.

Discipline for violations of policy or law ranges from a written reprimand, suspension for one to fourteen days without pay, removal from a specialized assignment, demotion, or termination. At the conclusion of the complaint process, the Sheriff’s Office notifies the complainant and all involved parties of the outcome of the investigation. We also release to the public annual statistics on the number, type and outcome of complaints throughout the agency. This information is also shared with the Department of Justice. The Sheriff’s Office also has a system used to track complaints against deputies to determine if a pattern is developing in their behavior. This enables us to be proactive in recognizing and overcoming issues through supervision and training.

Open City Hall Camarillo is not a certified voting system or ballot box. As with any public comment process, participation in Open City Hall Camarillo is voluntary. The statements in this record are not necessarily representative of the whole population, nor do they reflect the opinions of any government agency or elected officials.