Office of Inspector General

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About OIR Group

OIR Group has more than 20 years of experience in the field of independent oversight of law enforcement and has addressed issues of policing in multiple jurisdictions throughout California and in several other states. You can read more about the group, its members, and its other work here.

Office of Inspector General

The County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors established the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in 2023 to ensure that the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, which provides law enforcement services in the unincorporated county and is responsible for the security and welfare of incarcerated individuals, is transparent and accountable to all residents of Santa Cruz County. The County appointed OIR Group to serve as the OIG and help assure the Sheriff’s Office receives public input about its activities and is responsive to the community.

What is the OIG’s Role?

Community Complaints
The OIG will review all community complaints made against the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and determine whether the SCSO’s investigation of the complaint is complete, thorough, and objective. The OIG may recommend changes to policy, procedures, or training based on their reviews. For those who may not feel comfortable going directly to the Sheriff’s Office with a complaint, the OIG will receive complaints and participate in the interviews of complainants.
Community Engagement
OIG will participate in community outreach efforts both to educate the public about the importance of oversight and to hear from the community any concerns about the Sheriff’s Office and its role in law enforcement.
The OIG will review all deputy-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, and any Internal Affairs investigation that alleges excessive or unnecessary force. The OIG will also monitor and review allegations of serious misconduct by Sheriff's Office employees.

The OIG has access to the Sheriff’s Office's complaint database and other records and will regularly assess and audit systems for timeliness, objectivity, and fairness.

The OIG will also audit:

  • Sheriff’s Office's policy, procedures, and training
  • Use of force investigations
  • Allegations of bias and SCSO enforcement actions that may result in biased outcomes
  • Use of body-worn cameras
  • Sheriff's Office compliance with state laws regarding reporting of data and records and certification of Peace Officers

You can view the OIG’s full scope of work here: OIG Scope of Work.

Submit a Comment, Complaint, or Commendation

The OIG monitors the Sheriff’s Office investigations to ensure that they are complete, thorough, and objective.

Those who do not feel comfortable communicating directly with the Sheriff’s Office can fill out a comment form here and we will forward it to the appropriate individuals. We will also follow through to make sure everything is handled correctly and that you understand the process and the outcome. If you submit a complaint, the investigator will want to interview you to hear directly from you what happened. The OIG can participate in that interview.

View Office of Inspector General Reports

The OIG will regularly report to the public on its work and findings.