Police commission unnecessary
There may come a day when sheriffs are liked by everybody and make no enemies, but we don’t see it coming very soon.
It’s the kind of job – district attorney would be another one, and most elected positions would fall into the category – that can’t possibly make everybody happy.
That’s why we tend to agree with Sheriff Rod Banister when he says an appointed public safety commission, which would oversee police and fire activities, isn’t a particularly attractive idea for Carson City.
The idea is coming up before the city’s Charter Review Committee, one of several the committee will consider during its biennial review of the city’s overriding authority.
It would be a citizens group that could serve as a sounding board, a committee to review police and fire actions, air complaints and make suggestions about how public safety could be improved.
There’s nothing in particular in the idea that sounds bad – except, when we look at the description above, we are reminded that a group already exists to do all those things. It’s the Board of Supervisors.
Public safety isn’t the board’s primary concern, but Carson City certainly isn’t large enough yet that it needs a separate police and fire commission.
The concern with a citizens commitee, as pointed out by Banister, is that it has the potential to come between voters and their elected representatives.
The sheriff – and the supervisors, for that matter – should be held accountable to the voters.
An appointed board would have no authority to take action, and it does have the potential to be misused by someone with an ax to grind. In the same vein, the sheriff would have no responsibility to answer to the appointed commission.
The charter committee can scratch this one off their list.