Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
The County of Mendocino is a very rural, mountainous, and geographically large County within Northern California. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) serves 86,749 residents spread throughout 3,506.34 square miles—no part of which is within an area designated as a standard metropolitan statistical area by the Office of Management and Budget. MCSO, therefore, meets the definition of a rural law enforcement agency as defined in this solicitation.
Some communities served by MCSO are located in remote, high-poverty portions of the county that are a significant distance from the Sheriff’s Office primary duty stations. These communities often receive diminished public safety services because chronic staff shortages have impeded MCSO’s ability to adequately cover calls-for-service in our jurisdictions. Consequently, these communities are hot spots for violent crimes, including burglary, assault, and inflicted bodily harm. Covelo and Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria, the two areas that will benefit from this grant, have a poverty rate of 39.6 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively. Covelo has a 5-year average violent crime rate of 1730.7 per 100,000 and Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria of 2001.5 per 100,000.
MCSO proposes a 36-month “Resident Deputy Pay Incentive Plans” project to reduce the violent crimes in those communities by providing them full-time public safety services. Covelo and Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria currently do not have Resident Deputies—a Deputy who lives and works full-time in a community. MCSO will use the grant funds to encourage employee participation in the Resident Deputy Program by offsetting issues relating to living in remote rural areas with higher salaries. MCSO will hire one Resident Deputy for each community. The presence of a Deputy in those communities will allow MCSO to be proactive in addressing their violent crime problems rather than reactive as our current staffing level allows.
The Resident Deputies will implement a community policing program and employ focused deterrence strategies to reduce violent crimes in their communities. MCSO will use the SARA problem-solving process to collect the data required to report the progress and results of this proposal. With the assistance of the TTA, MCSO will use both quantitative and qualitative data to increase the effectiveness of this initiative by tailoring responses to the needs of each community. Above all, we will work with the TTA to institutionalize strategies so that MCSO can sustain short-term gains through this grant funding long-term.