Responses to the Audit
Use the links below to skip to the specific response you wish to view:
- Department of Justice
- Commision on Peace Officer Standards and Training
- California State Auditor's Comments on the Response From the Commision on Peace Officer Standards and Training
- Los Angeles Police Department
- SFSU Police
- Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Department of Justice
May 7, 2018
California State Auditor
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: State Auditor’s Report on Hate Crimes in California
Dear Ms. Howle,
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reviewed the California State Auditor’s (CSA) report and appreciates the opportunity to respond to the report.
DOJ agrees with the importance of accurate identification and reporting of hate crimes by Local Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and encouraging community members to report these crimes to local law enforcement. Preventing and effectively responding to hate crimes and bias is critical to ensuring all Californians can live without fear of being targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
This is why, despite the lack of any mandate or funding to audit LEAs or conduct community outreach or related activities regarding hate crimes, DOJ has made a concerted effort to help ensure hate crimes are investigated and prosecuted, and to support community responses to hate-based conflict.
In addition to prosecuting hate crimes when local agencies have had a conflict or otherwise needed assistance, DOJ provides crime lab services to assist LEAs in hate crimes cases. DOJ publishes an annual report regarding hate crimes in California, offers a range of resources for law enforcement and local communities on DOJ’s website, has provided training and information to local law enforcement about California hate crimes laws and DOJ’s system of reporting, and regularly meets with community organizations and other stakeholders.
Pursuant to Penal Code Section 13023, “[s]ubject to the availability of adequate funding,” the Attorney General shall direct LEAs to report information to DOJ regarding hate crimes. While DOJ has not received direct funding for these efforts, it continues to collect and, to the extent possible with existing resources, analyze hate crime statistics and produces an annual report based upon the information reported. Prior to significant General Fund budget reductions, DOJ had a Crime and Violence Prevention Center (CVPC) that was able to conduct quality assurance checks and audits on the various data sets reported by local law enforcement to DOJ. Unfortunately, in FY 2008-09, DOJ suffered significant General Fund budget reductions, a part of which included a cut of $4.681 million from DOJ’s budget and the elimination of 35.5 positions from the CVPC. This resulted in the complete dissolution of the CVPC program along with the cessation of a number of its functions, including the ability to do routine audits of data reported by local law enforcement. DOJ strongly opposed these cuts when they were imposed due to their impact on important functions. DOJ therefore looks forward to working with the Legislature and Department of Finance to restore these funds and positions so that we can implement all of CSA’s recommendations and improve the manner in which hate crimes are addressed in California.
In response to CSA’s specific recommendations identified in the draft report. DOJ submits the following responses:
CSA Recommendations to the Legislature:
To address the increase in hate crime reported in California, the Legislature should require DOJ to do the following:
- Add region-specific data fields to the hate crime database, including items such as zip code in which the reported hate crimes took place and other fields determined by DOJ to support its outreach efforts.
- Analyze reported hate crimes in various regions in the State and send advisory notices to law enforcement agencies when it detects hate crimes happening across multiple jurisdictions.
- Create and disseminate outreach materials so law enforcement agencies can better engage with their communities
- Create and make available training materials for law enforcement agencies in how best to identify and respond to hate crimes
- Implement a school-based program, in conjunction with representation from LEAs, aimed at educating the community to identify and confront issues, bias, prejudice, and harassment.
DOJ agrees with these recommendations and looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Department of Finance to identify and obtain the additional resources and funding necessary for DOJ to implement the recommendations outlined in the CSA audit. DOJ believes that, with appropriate resources, it could be well positioned to provide community outreach and leadership to LEAs regarding the prevention, identification and investigation of hate crimes. As noted above, DOJ previously had a Violence Prevention Center program. In addition to the quality assurance work referenced above, the CVPC was responsible for developing effective crime prevention and education strategies for law enforcement and the public. The funding for this program was eliminated and the program was subsequently dismantled. If the Legislature is supportive of reestablishing the CVPC or otherwise supporting funding and resources for conducting additional hate crimes work, DOJ would be able to assume the responsibilities recommended by CSA. Until then, DOJ can continue to fulfill the following mandates:
· Instruct LEAs on the procedure for reporting hate crimes to DOJ;
· Collect and, to the extent possible with existing resources, analyze hate crime data provided by LEAs;
· Transmit data to the FBI and other federal agencies involved in the collection of national crime statistics;
· Publish an annual report on hate crimes; and
· Periodically evaluate the hate crime reporting and make recommendations to the Legislature as DOJ deems necessary.
CSA Recommendations to DOJ:
1) Complete and accurate data:
To ensure that it receives complete and accurate data, DOJ should, by May 2019, maintain a list of law enforcement agencies that it updates annually, obtain hate crime data from all law enforcement agencies, distribute additional guidance to those agencies on procedures for reporting hate crimes, and conduct periodic reviews of law enforcement agencies to ensure that the data reported are accurate. It should also seek the resources to implement these efforts, if necessary
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. Currently, DOJ maintains a list of over 730 currently reporting LEAs. It has recently established a new procedure to actively search out new reporting agencies and to verify the contact information of each reporting agency. While there are many agencies that perform law enforcement duties, agencies must meet specific, exhaustive requirements to be considered reporting LEAs under parameters set by the FBI, such as being able to submit data on arrests, crimes and clearances, homicides, arson, among others. In cases where an agency does not meet all of the criteria, it usually reports data to a larger agency that fulfills the requirements to be a reporting LEA. DOJ will annually search for, engage with, and on-board as many non-reporting agencies who meet reporting criteria.
DOJ is actively reviewing its Hate Crime reporting and training materials. New and revised versions of reporting and training materials will be made electronically available. The new and updated materials will be posted on DOJ’s California law Enforcement Website (CLEW), general website as appropriate, and distributed via email to all of our reporting agency contacts.
DOJ has revised its quality control process for hate crime submissions for the 2018 statistical year. Furthermore, an Information Bulletin is in process for instructing reporting LEAs to provide copies of their incident reports along with their Hate Crime submissions. Contingent upon additional resources, receiving the incident reports along with the standard submissions will allow DOJ staff to perform more in-depth data quality controls, identify training opportunities at the agency and state level, and, as necessary, develop additional materials to ensure proper and accurate reporting.
DOJ is committed to improving hate crime reporting. In order to truly ensure hate crime reporting in California is complete and accurate, training and auditing is necessary. While having materials readily available assists LEAs to accurately report, it does not serve as a comprehensive model to address the issues of non and underreported of hate crime incidents. DOJ will require additional resources to properly and regularly train and, as necessary, conduct audits of the more than 730 reporting agencies mentioned above. DOJ looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Department of Finance to identify and obtain the additional resources and funding necessary for DOJ to implement the recommendations outlined in the CSA audit.
2) Increase awareness of available resources:
To ensure that all state law enforcement agencies are aware of the support available to help them investigate hate crimes, DOJ should engage in outreach efforts to increase awareness of the response team.
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. DOJ recently updated its Hate Crime Rapid Response Protocol and will engage in outreach to law enforcement agencies, including District Attorneys,
City Attorneys, Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, and State law enforcement agencies regarding the Protocol and other resources available to help them investigate hate crimes. Outreach will
include direct contact with agencies through CLEW, email distribution, distribution to statewide law enforcement professional associations, and through a media release.
3) Increase the effectiveness of hate crime prevention and responses:
To increase the effectiveness of hate crime prevention and response efforts, DOJ should provide additional guidance to law enforcement by doing the following:
- Add region-specific data fields to the hate crime database, including items such as the zip codes in which reported hate crimes took place and other fields determined by DOJ to support its outreach efforts.
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. DOJ is in the process of transitioning from Summary UCR to incident based reporting though the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) by 2021. In doing so, DOJ has identified relevant data elements and values that the new California Incident based Reporting System (CIBRS) will collect. We anticipate the CIBRS will collect zip code and census tract data for each reported incident.
- Analyze reported hate crimes in various regions in the State, and send advisory notices when it detects hate crimes happening across multiple jurisdictions. It should also seek the resources to implement these efforts, if necessary .
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. With supplemented resources, DOJ could create specialized queries and reporting capabilities in the CIBRS to detect hate crimes taking place in multi jurisdictions. For example, DOJ analysts could use this new CIBRS functionality on a quarterly basis to identify potential patterns, hot spots, and cross-jurisdiction incidents and distribute notices to the relevant LEAs and elected officials.
- Create and disseminate outreach materials so law enforcement agencies can better engage with their communities.
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. DOJ is making a concerted effort to engage in outreach and support despite receiving no funding to engage in these activities. With the transition to a new Attorney General’s administration, DOJ has been updating relevant documentation to reflect the current structure of the office. This has included updating the Rapid Response Protocol discussed above, DOJ’s hate crimes brochure, and resources available on DOJ’s webpage. DOJ intends to raise awareness of the Protocol and distribute the brochure in multiple languages through targeted communication with both LEAs and advocacy groups. As noted above, with additional resources and funding, DOJ would be able to engage in additional activities. DOJ looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Department of Finance to identify and obtain the additional resources and funding necessary for DOJ to implement the recommendations outlined in the CSA audit.
- Create and make available training materials for law enforcement agencies on how best to identify and respond to hate crimes.
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. Despite no allocation of resources by the Legislature for any outreach activity regarding hate crimes and hate incidents, when possible, DOJ has provided training to local agencies and engaged in outreach to local human relations commissions and advocacy groups regarding hate crimes and hate incidents. DOJ welcomes opportunities to work with more LEAs and communities regarding preventing and responding to hate crimes and hate incidents. As noted above, with additional resources and funding, DOJ would be able to engage in these activities on a more regular basis. DOJ looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Department of Finance to identify and obtain the additional resources and funding necessary for DOJ to implement the recommendations outlined in the CSA audit.
4. Community and Law Enforcement Education and Outreach:
To ensure that law enforcement agencies effectively engage with communities regarding hate crimes, DOJ should provide guidance and best practices for law enforcement agencies to follow when conducting hate crime outreach to vulnerable communities within their jurisdiction, such as collaborating with a county human rights commission. Outreach materials should be made available to law enforcement agencies and should include presentation materials fair various types of communities, including immigrants and Muslims, among others. It should also seek the resources to implement these efforts, if necessary.
DOJ agrees with this recommendation. As noted above, when possible, DOJ has engaged in outreach and support with no supplemental funding to engage in these activities. With the transition to a new Attorney General’s administration, DOJ has been updating relevant documentation – including DOJ’s Hate Crime Rapid Response Protocol and DOJ’s hate crimes brochure. DOJ intends to raise awareness of the protocol and distribute the brochure through effective communication with LEAs, advocacy groups, and the general public. As noted above, with additional resources and funding, DOJ would be able to engage in additional activities, including additional outreach efforts. DOJ looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Department of Finance to identify and obtain the additional resources and funding necessary for DOJ to implement the recommendations outlined in the CSA audit.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft audit report. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, you may contact me at the telephone number listed above.Sincerely,
CHRIS RYAN, CHIEF
Division of Operations
For XAVIER BECERRA
Cc: Sean McCluskie, Chief Deputy Attorney General
Chris Prasad, Director, Office of Program Oversight and Accountability
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
May 7, 2018
Elaine M. Howle
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AUDIT RESPONSE TO 2017-131
Dear Ms. Howle:
In response to your audit titled “Hate Crimes in California: Law Enforcement Has Not Adequately Identified, Reported, or Responded to Hate Crimes” (2017-131), page 15, referring to POST’s request for funding (middle page), the narrative could use some clarification.
The narrative should more accurately read:
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
MANUEL ALVAREZ, Jr.
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE COMMISSION ON PEACE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the response to our audit report from POST. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we placed in the margin of POST’s response.
In the past, POST has assessed some of its training courses. However, it does not conduct periodic evaluations of its hate crime training program, as we note here.
Los Angeles Police DepartmentApril 3, 2017
Elaine M. Howle
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Ms. Howle,
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the audit conducted by the California State Auditor titled “Hate Crimes in California: Law Enforcement Has Not Adequately Identified, Reported, or Responded to Hate Crimes.”
I have reviewed the audit and identified two areas that cited deficiencies in the Los Angeles Police Department that were not accurately addressed in the audit. The identified areas are:
• Classification of Hate Crimes.
• The recommendation that the Los Angeles Police Department update its Policies and Procedures regarding the reporting of Hate Crimes.
Regarding each of the categories, I have included a response that details our position as to why the information in the audit was either incorrectly reported, or misrepresented the Los Angeles Police Department’s position on that topic.
I am requesting that the information be reviewed for consideration and the audit be amended to reflect the findings of that review.
I appreciate your attention to this matter and would request that you direct any questions you might have regarding this matter to Captain William Hayes, Commanding Officer, Robbery-Homicide Division, at (213) 486-6850.
Very truly yours,
Chief of Police
HATE CRIME UNIT – DOJ Audit Response
The California State Auditor’s Office (CSAO) conducted a “Hate Crimes in California” audit for the Department of Justice (DOJ). This audit covered reported hate crimes and hate incidents over a three-year period from 2014 to 2016. The audit included the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and other agencies.
On May 1, 2018, the CSAO provided the LAPD with a draft copy of their audit. Two areas of concern were identified. First, there were three LAPD reports that were coded as “Hate Incidents” that the CSAO believed should have been coded as “Hate Crimes.” Second, the CSAO recommended that the LAPD update their hate crime policies and procedures.
The Los Angeles Police Department has provided the CSAO with copies of the three hate incident reports in question. Follow up reports and applicable California Penal Code sections were also included which justify the classifications of the reports as Hate Incidents as opposed to Hate Crimes. The following is a summary of the three LAPD reports (DR numbers):
The LADA CCM lists the elements for the crime of PC 422, Criminal Threats, as “willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to another, with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat. It is further alleged that the threatened crime, on its face and under the circumstances in which it was made, was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to another a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution.” In this instance, the acts of the suspects did not meet the elements to the crime of Criminal Threats. There was no threat of bodily injury to another.
NOTE: The LADA CCM lists the elements of the crime of PC 653m(a), Annoying Telephone Calls, as “unlawfully and with intent to annoy make contact by means of an electronic communication device and address obscene language to another, and address threats to inflict injury to the person of and the property of another and the members of his/her family.” In this instance, the acts of the suspect did not meet the elements to the crime of Annoying Telephone Calls. There were no threats to inflict injury on the person and property of another.
The LADA CCM lists the elements of the crime of PC 653m(b), Annoying Telephone Calls, as “unlawfully and with the intent to annoy and harass, make repeated telephone calls and repeated telephone calls and repeated, and make any combination of calls and contact to another person, by means of electronic device.” In these instances, the acts of the suspects did not meet the elements to the crime of Annoying Telephone Calls. There were no repeated communications intended to annoy or harass another person.
The LADA CCM lists the elements for the crime of PC 422, Criminal Threats, as “willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to another, with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat. It is further alleged that the threatened crime, on its face and under the circumstances in which it was made, was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to another a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution.” In this instance, the acts of the suspects did not meet the elements to the crime of Criminal Threats. There was no immediacy of the threat, the threat was not unequivocal and was a vague inference of visiting the victim which was retracted later in the conversation. The suspect made the statements at 1050 hours and the victim contacted the police five hours later to complete a report. This would suggest the victim did not feel any immediacy to the threat.
The LADA CCM listed the elements of the crime of PC 653m(b), Annoying Telephone Calls, as “unlawfully and with the intent to annoy and harass, make repeated telephone calls and repeated telephone calls and repeated, and make any combination of calls and contact to another person, by means of electronic device.” In these instances, the acts of the suspects did not meet the elements to the crime of Annoying Telephone Calls. The suspect and victim were involved in a specific telephone text message dispute and then the suspect stopped contacting the victim.
The above-sourced California PC sections and LADA CCM verify the correct coding of the three hate incident reports. The elements of the crimes in the above-mentioned reports do not meet legal standard for “Hate Crimes.” In addition, the LAPD consulted with LADA Hate Crimes Unit, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Richard Cebalos and reviewed each of the above cases cited. DDA Cebalos stated that the cases did not have the elements of a crime in each of the incidents and therefore would not meet the standard of being classified as a hate crime. It is the opinion of LAPD that the above-mentioned DR numbers are coded correctly as “Hate Incidents.”
The CSAO audit also stated 89 out of 622 hate crimes were not reported to the DOJ and recommended training to department personnel. In 2016, the LAPD revamped its reporting requirements, updated its manuals, and revised its officer training to reflect these updates and changes. The LAPD also streamlined its hate crime reporting process to assist its officers in completing hate crime and hate incident reporting. The following procedures were put in place to ensure the proper reporting and classification on hate crimes and hate incidents:
1) LAPD Form 18.44.00, Hate Crime/Incident Guidelines, delineates the investigation for all field patrol officers and supervisors. It is included with all patrol notebook dividers, an LAPD resource for field investigations, which officers carry in the field to assist them and is also available online via the Department’s intranet.
2) LAPD form 3.01.05, LAPD Hate Crime Supplemental Report, shall be completed with every Hate Crime report to assist the detectives with the investigation. This form is located at every area police station and is available online via the Department intranet.
3) LAPD form 15.91.00, LAPD Hate Crimes Resource Pamphlet, is provided to all field officers to present to the Hate Crime/Incident victims and witnesses and is available at all area police stations.
4) LAPD Hate Crime/Hate Incident Detective Report Review/Criteria Checklist form is completed with every Hate Crime and Hate Incident by the detectives assigned to the investigation. This form ensures that the reports are correctly coded, the victims are protected, and that the report is entered into the DOJ database. This form is located at every area police station and is available online via the Department’s intranet.
These updated forms assist officers in completing thorough investigations, and aid in classifying the crimes/incidents correctly while assisting detectives in their follow up and investigative efforts.
Regarding the two areas of concern that arose from the CSAO audit: 1) It is
the position of the LAPD that the three (3) mentioned hate incident reports
were coded correctly. LAPD requests that the CSAO reconsider its assessment
of that issue.
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the response to our audit report from LA Police. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we placed in the margin of LA Police’s response.
We conducted this audit according to generally accepted government auditing standards and the California State Auditor’s thorough quality control process. In following auditing standards, we are required to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to support our conclusions. Thus, we stand by our conclusions that LA Police misidentified three hate crimes and that LA Police needs to update its hate crime policies.
LA Police’s response does not indicate how the audit misrepresents LA Police’s positions. Moreover, as is our standard process, we met with LA Police staff on several occasions and informed them of our findings and recommendations, and obtained their perspective on those issues in writing. At no point did LA Police indicate that we had misrepresented its positions.
This portion of LA Police’s response contains case information such as the report number and a description of the reported events. We have redacted this portion of LA Police’s response as it contains confidential information and to protect the privacy of the persons described.
In making its assessments, LA Police relies on a crime charging manual (CCM), not the law, to determine whether an event constitutes a hate incident or a hate crime. When we compared the cited sections in the LA Police response to state law for purposes of our work, we found that the cited sections contain at least two errors that caused LA Police to improperly classify hate crimes as hate incidents. For example, we found that the CCM inaccurately describes a Penal Code section 240 crime because the CCM does not accurately reflect applicable case law. We discussed this issue with LA Police and provided the LA Police with the applicable case law, and also discussed other supporting evidence, such as official jury instructions, but LA Police insisted on relying on the erroneous manual. Further, the CCM states that, in order for an annoying phone call to constitute a crime under Penal Code section 653m(a), the perpetrator must have both addressed obscene language and made a threat to the victim. However, Penal Code section 653m(a) plainly states that an annoying phone call constitutes a crime if either obscene language or a threat is addressed to a victim, assuming other required elements of the crime are also present. Thus, as we recommend here, LA Police needs to update the policies and procedures it uses to determine whether a hate crime or hate incident has occurred.
We did not conclude that the referenced hate incident report constitutes a crime under Penal Code section 422. Thus, we did not have a finding in this regard.
We did not conclude that the referenced hate incident report constitutes a crime under Penal Code section 653m(b). Thus, we did not have a finding in this regard.
As we indicate in Table 7, LA Police failed to report 89 hate crimes to DOJ. Some of these errors occurred after LA Police implemented its 2016 policy. Consequently, it is evident that LA Police’s 2016 policy has not ensured that it properly reports hate crimes to DOJ. Furthermore, when we discussed the reporting errors with LA Police, it indicated that the errors we identified were the result of either improper training or a lack of guidance and oversight, which we also note here. To address these issues, we recommend here that LA Police should update its hate crime policy and provide sufficient guidance and oversight to its officers and staff to ensure they accurately report hate crimes to DOJ.
LA Police indicates it has created a checklist for detectives to use when investigating hate crimes as a result of our audit findings. The checklist requires detectives to report hate crimes to DOJ. However, LA Police’s hate crime policy does not require that detectives complete this checklist. Until LA Police updates its policy to require detectives to complete the checklist, it cannot ensure its officers are reporting all hate crimes to DOJ.
San Francisco State University Police Department
Thursday, May 17, 2018
California State Auditor
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Audit Draft- Report No. 2017- 131
Dear State Auditor
This letter is in response to Report No. 2017- 131, Hate Crimes in California. I have read and reviewed the report and agree with the following recommendations presented by the State Auditor.
- To ensure that they accurately identify and report hate crimes, SFSU Police should update their hate crimes policies and procedures, and should implement supplemental hate crime reports and require officers to use them.
- To ensure accurate and complete reporting, SFSU Police should provide sufficient guidance and oversight to their officers and staff so they report all hate crimes to DOJ.
Assistant Vice President & Chief of Police
Orange County Sheriff's Department
OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF
May 7, 2018
Ms. Elaine M. Howle, CPA
California State Auditor
Transmitted via email to Aaron Fellner
Re: Draft Report titled “Hate Crimes in California: Law Enforcement Has Not Adequately Identified, Reported, or Responded to Hate Crimes”
Dear Ms. Howle,
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is in receipt of the above-referenced draft report. We appreciate the opportunity to review and provide a response.
As the draft report states, we have already taken steps to address the need for a supplemental hate crime report form. We agree a supplemental hate crime report form is necessary to enable our deputies to more easily identify different elements of a hate crime, such as the type of bias and bias indicators. We have also worked to improve our policies addressing hate crimes and hate incidents.
Please find attached our new Department Policy 307, revised Field Operations Manual Section 52, new supplemental report form, and a brochure from the Orange County Human Relations Commission. This brochure is provided by our deputies to victims, as referenced in our Department Policy, Field Operations Manual and supplemental report form. When our electronic Field-Based Reporting system is fully implemented, the data fields in the supplemental hate crime report form will be included, and deputies will enter the data into the system. We recognize the audit’s reference to the one case in which the Department failed to identify a hate crime is one case too many. These policies and report forms will help ensure these crimes are not misidentified and the reporting of these crimes is thorough and accurate.
We agree with the statement in the draft report that immigrant communities may underreport hate crimes due to fear of deportation. Inaccurate media reports and rhetoric have misinformed the public and perpetuated a dangerous myth. I want to reiterate the public statement I made on February 25, 2017 (see attached media release), that as we carry out our patrol functions, the Sheriff’s Department will not ask the immigration status of suspects, witnesses or those who call to report crimes. The Sheriff’s Department is committed to providing for the safety of crime victims and will respond without concern for their immigration status.
Thank you for recognizing our community outreach activities which relate specifically to hate crime issues. As we shared with your staff, we value our partnership with the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Additionally, the work done by the Sheriff’s Interfaith Advisory Council has fostered a stronger understanding among law enforcement and the diverse faith communities of Orange County. Efforts such as these build trust and strengthen the bond between law enforcement and those we are sworn to protect and serve.
Orange County is one of our nation’s safest communities, but we are not immune from those who seek to perpetrate hate or violence against others. I am proud of the commitment by the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department to address hate and combat violence. The recommendation in your report will help us to refine these efforts and better capture the good work being done.