Public Safety Image

Monterey County Public Safety Articles



Image caption: A new law seeks to prevent cars from speeding, which causes about one of every three traffic fatalities.
If Drivers Won’t Slow Down, Proposed Law Requires Cars Do It for Them

“Intelligent” speed-limiting technology will be required in all new California cars starting in 2027, if a new law authored by San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener passes.

Image caption: Under a new law, homeless people in San Mateo County can be criminally charged for refusing to move to a shelter.
Should Homelessness be a Crime? New San Mateo County Law Allows Charges

In San Mateo County, a new law allows police to charge homeless people with criminal offenses if they don’t accept shelter. SCOTUS will soon weigh in with a potential landmark decision in an Oregon case.

Image caption: Los Angeles voters can take a step toward reducing traffic violence with a measure on the March ballot.
Can Traffic Deaths in Los Angeles be Reduced With a Ballot Measure?

With traffic deaths now regularly topping 300 per year, Measure HLA on the March 5 ballot gives Los Angeles voters the opportunity to force their reluctant city to implement new traffic safety measures.

Image caption: California traffic deaths dropped by 12 percent in the first three months of 2023, but road fatalities remain at crisis levels.
Death on the Roads: Traffic Fatality Crisis Far From Over

As the COVID pandemic eased, so did the epidemic of death on the road. Somewhat. But the ongoing crisis of traffic fatalities remains at high levels with early numbers form 2023 appearing to top 4,000 in California.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
UPDATED: Monterey Fire chief retires in wake of no confidence vote by firefighter's union.

Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer is retiring from the leadership position he's held since 2013, the city announced this morning, Monday, Dec. 11. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Monterey Firefighters Association Local 3707 shared publicly that 87…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
A firefighters union takes a vote of no confidence against the Monterey fire chief.

On Nov. 7, 87 percent of the 71 members of the Monterey Firefighters Association Local 3707 took a vote of “no confidence” in Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer, the union announced on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The public announcement was sudden…

Image caption: How does social media affect the minds and well-being of children? According to California and other states, not well.
California Sues Meta For Damaging Kids’ Mental Health

California and 32 other states are suing Instagram’s parent company, Meta, saying that their apps are damaging to children. Is there evidence for those claims? Here’s why social media is under attack.

Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.

Image caption: A terrifying incident in which a Cruise car dragged a pedestrian who had been hit by a different car led the DMV to take the cars off the road.
State DMV and CPUC Both Pull Self-Driving Cruise Taxis From Road

A recent incident in San Francisco spurred the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Public Utilities Commission to suspend the licenses for Cruise’s driverless cars.

Image caption: New law represents departure from long-standing mental health treatment practices in California.
Californians’ Mental Health: Newsom Signs Law to Overhaul System

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature mental health policies allow the involuntary treatment of more Californians with severe mental illnesses. Some fear the new laws will infringe on the civil liberties of people confined against their will.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
After a pilot program, Salinas agrees to a one-year private security contract at Closter Park.

Going for a walk, spending a day in the grass and playing basketball are part of the routine for people who live near Closter Park, the most-visited park in Salinas.

Image caption: Gov. Newsom this week signed a law creating a new 11 percent excise tax on gun manufacturers and retailers.
Gun Manufacturers Fear Days Are Numbered in California

Gov. Newsom just signed a tax on firearms and ammunition, among other new gun control laws. California’s remaining gun manufacturers wonder if they have a future.

Image caption: Flooding on the Salinas River in 2023 brought economic hardship to farmers and snarled traffic.
Disaster Prep: Alerts, Maps and Apps

Whether you’re on the Monterey Peninsula, in the Salinas Valley or Big Sur, keep these information resources handy on your smartphone.

Image caption: Border Patrol policies deliberately channel migrants through some of the harshest desert areas in California, resulting in frequent deaths.
Border Patrol Routes Migrants Into Deadly Imperial Valley Desert

In the Imperial County desert, a volunteer group routinely maintains large barrels filled with water to help migrants traversing the California desert. As rescues increase, the longstanding immigration policies that funneled migrants to such harsh terrain deserve scrutiny.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Soledad community encouraged to test temporary redesign along Front Street

SOLEDAD — A temporary redesign along Front Street in Soledad for a Safe Routes to School project demonstration is now open for community members to test out, announced Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). The demonstration, which began Sept. 8 …

Image caption: As California's legislative session ends, lawmakers take no steps to address the state's fire insurance crisis.
Legislature Fails to Address California Fire Insurance Crisis

Legislators weren’t able to reach a compromise that helps insurers with wildfire risk while also protecting homeowners. Interest groups hope to find one in meetings this fall.

Featured

A Pyrocumulus cloud generated by the Dixie Fire in July, 2021.
What is Fire 'Containment?' That and Other Terms, Explained
What does it mean when firefighters call a fire "contained?" Here's a brief guide to commonly used fire prevention terminology.
States have expansive powers to protect the health of the general public.
The State’s Broad Power to Protect Public Health, Explained
Since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, states have possessed broad authority to protect public health.
California will soon be getting a new hotline number as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises.
988, the New Mental Health Emergency Number, Explained
Here's the story behind that new service, and the original 911 number.
Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population
How local government tries to control the world’s deadliest wild animal—the mosquito.
There are more than 300 community service districts in California.
Community Services Districts, Explained
Areas that the county overlooks can form their own local governments.
How Not to Feel the Burn
These groups help residents preserve their property, health and life.
Supercell storms are just one of many weather phenomena in the era of climate change.
The New Vocabulary of the Climate Change Era
As climate change causes more extreme and unusual weather, we need a new set of terms to describe the various phenomena
Though it’s the most famous, the San Andreas Fault is just one of more than 500 active faults in California.
Battening Down for the Big One
Making it through the earthquake is easy—the hard part comes later.
Many of Robert Kerbeck’s neighbors in Malibu Park lost their homes in the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which left behind lots where only chimneys still stood.
Give Your Home a Fighting Chance
Wildfires are larger, more frequent, and more ferocious—so be prepared.
Thousands of homeowners have been kicked off their fire insurance policies.
California Fire Insurance Crisis: How the State Helps Homeowners
The state tries persuading insurance companies to cover homes in fire zones.
With CERT training, volunteers can learn firefighting skills.
Emergency Teamwork
With CERT training, ordinary civilians can play critical roles in protecting their communities.
View of the flooded San Lorenzo River Park Benchlands in Santa Cruz, California on New Year's Eve 2022.
Communicating During Disaster and Crisis
Recent lessons learned over days of local disaster.
Flooding on the Salinas River in 2023 brought economic hardship to farmers and snarled traffic.
Disaster Prep: Alerts, Maps and Apps
Keep these online resources handy in case of floods, fires, quakes and other disasters
Join Us Today!