In the summer of 2008, Sheriff Sniff reversed the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department policy of withholding deputy names and began releasing names of deputies involved in critical incidents upon request, except when that disclosure would endanger the safety of the deputy(s) involved or would endanger the successful completion of any related investigation. This practice was in compliance with California Public Records Act (Government Code sections 6250 et seq.), as well as with existing case law decisions. Following each critical incident, the Department evaluated the information available to determine the risk of releasing the involved deputy’s name.
In August 2013, the Department suspended the practice of releasing names pending the outcome of the appellate case before the California Supreme Court regarding Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach. When the California Supreme Court accepted the Court of Appeal decision for review, the appellate decision no longer had precedential authority.
On May 29, 2014, the California Supreme Court rendered its decision that the names of peace officers involved in officer involved shootings should be released. Due to this decision and after thorough review, Sheriff Sniff has re-instated his original policy of releasing names upon request when that disclosure would not endanger the safety of the deputy(s) involved or would not endanger the successful completion of any related investigation. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is dedicated to being open and transparent with the citizens in the communities we serve throughout Riverside County.
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