In Imperial Beach, the sheriff’s department has been told to reduce using force on suspects through the recommendations of a task force of Imperial Beach city leaders. In addition to limiting the use of force, the task force has also recommended that agencies outside of the sheriff’s department be utilized when non-emergency calls are made.
After Imperial Beach leaders declared that the city supported and backed Black Lives Matter in June, the task force was put together. One of the stances that the BLM movement takes is to defund the police. Many cities across the country have looked into varying ways that they can restructure their funds and the responsibilities of their police forces in response. The task force, who investigated the San Diego Sheriff’s Department operations as they relate to Imperial Beach, published a report of their findings. In the report, the committee cited data from the sheriff’s department regarding incidents that take place in the city was insufficient.
Heading the task force was Mayor Pro Tempore, Paloma Aguirre, and Councilmember Ed Spriggs. The group worked with the sheriff’s department as well as with the community to collect information. The group concluded that community service officers should be used instead of police in non-emergency situations. They also recommended that deputies in the city should receive additional training on the following topics:
- Social justice
- Unconscious bias
Has the Sheriff’s Department in the City of Imperial Beach Implemented the Recommendations?
Since the report’s completion, no actions were taken. However, members of the team that worked on the report believe that together, the city and the sheriff’s department will be successful in making the changes necessary to improve the quality of law enforcement as well as the safety of the community. While the task force has now been dissolved, the report will be reviewed and its findings considered by the city’s Mayor, Serge Dedina. Mayor Dedina urged the community to have patience as any changes that develop will be done so slowly and with time.
According to data released from the FBI, there were a total of 431 reported crime incidents in the city in 2018. Approximately 79 of these incidents were violent crimes of rape, robbery, and assault. There were no murders reported in the city that year. The rest of the 352 crimes reported that year were all property crimes of burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. Crime in Imperial Beach is lower than the national average by 39% and violent crimes are 25% lower. Imperial Beach is showing a trend of decreasing crime rates. The FBI information shows that the city’s crime decreased by 13% in 2018 and the city is safer than 46% of all other cities across the country. Continue reading