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'Total Ignorance' 


I am astonished at the total ignorance displayed by Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury in recommending a civilian oversight board be established to provide oversight of the sheriff's office ("Grand Jury Recommends Civilian Oversight of Sheriff's Office," May 23). I am even more astonished that they would ask the board of supervisors to establish it using the Eureka Police Department as an example.

The chief of the EPD is an appointed position. He serves at the direction of the city council. Sheriff Honsal, as in most cases, is an elected official and is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. Sheriffs elected by the "people" are referred to as "constitutional sheriffs." They serve at the will of the people. Constitutional sheriffs do not take direction from boards of supervisors or citizen groups. They give direction to those groups. That is the law. Such efforts, as proposed, tend to hamstring law enforcement, not improve it. The current sheriff is answerable to the people only and if the people have an issue, they can recall the sheriff or vote him out of office. Humboldt County doesn't need that kind of added bureaucracy.

John Damon, McKinleyville

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