County civil grand jury: Budget cuts not impacting public safety

Worried that budget cuts might diminish public safety, the county civil grand jury this year took a look at training in the Sheriff’s Department and the police departments of all seven incorporated cities.

Their conclusion: Everything is fine.

All the departments continue to “maintain high standards of training, which include constant review and upgrading and refresh(ing) perishable skills,” the grand jury wrote in a report released Tuesday.

Grand jurors praised all the chiefs as well as the sheriff for their leadership, which, they wrote, “ensures the residents of the county that their police personnel adhere to high professional standards.”

The grand jury investigated each department to measure compliance with nationally and state recognized standards of professional training.

They paid special attention to recurring training in communications and such “perishable” skills as driving, tactical firearms, arrest and control, options regarding use of force, and verbal communication.

Without refresher training, the report said, those skills begin to deteriorate after two years.

In addition to serving citizens more effectively, the training guards against potential liability, grand jurors wrote.

The grand jury looked at police departments in the cities of Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, and Atascadero, in addition to the county Sheriff’s Department.