The Placer County Grand Jury is an investigatory body with the authority to act as a watchdog on local government, investigate citizen complaints, and assist in criminal matters at the request of the district attorney. Grand jurors are sworn to secrecy and, other than final reports, their work is kept strictly confidential.
The current Grand Jury was impaneled on July 7, 2015 and has worked for the past 12 months investigating government operations of the county plus special districts and cities within the county. Today’s release of the 2015-2016 Placer County Grand Jury Final Report is the culmination of a year’s work by 19 dedicated Placer County citizens.
Auburn, June 23, 2016 – This year’s Placer County Grand Jury Final Report contains some individual reports which are critical of local government operations. In reference to the temporary homeless shelter “the Grand Jury believes that the discussion has gone on far too long” and that “it is time for the Placer community and Board of Supervisors to adopt and implement a comprehensive long-term strategy to meet the shelter and service needs of Placer County’s homeless citizens.” The Grand Jury was also critical of the county’s decision to close the Meadow Vista and Loomis libraries and they titled their report on county code enforcement complaint feedback and tracking efforts “Inconsistency and Confusion.”
The Grand Jury also commended some agencies for a job well done. In a report on the hot topic of law enforcement use of force “The Grand Jury concludes that Placer County Sheriff’s Office’s internal policy, training, and procedures regarding use of force, and complaint submittal and investigation process, demonstrates a positive level of dedication and professionalism.”
The report also tackles local issues such as alcohol testing at Del Oro High School, code enforcement policies of cities within the county, child abuse and neglect, and the county’s implementation of mental health Assisted Outpatient Treatment. This year’s grand jury also took another look at the Newcastle Fire Protection District as they did three years ago.
The Grand Jury is tasked with inspecting all county and city juvenile and adult jails and holding cells within Placer County. The final report contains individual reports of each inspection.
Sharon Stanners, who served as Foreperson of this year’s Grand Jury, stated “I am very proud of the work that the Grand Jury has done this year. The Grand Jury speaks with one voice and this report documents the outcome of countless hours of work by 19 dedicated Placer County citizens. Our investigations discovered numerous instances where government is functioning properly, and our report gives credit where credit is due. We also documented some deficiencies in local government operations and we hope that this report will lead to some positive changes where they are needed.”