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National Night Out is an annual community event that strengthens police-community partnerships. Neighborhoods host festivals, parades, and other events while police officers demonstrate safety procedures.

California Local Pin Marker Local Public Safety Digest

New Year Brings New Traffic Safety Laws

Among new state laws passed in 2021, numerous traffic safety measures that affect local residents are in effect as of Jan. 1.

(Jan. 4, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
An Bird’s Eye View Against Fire

In Santa Cruz County, drones are now part of firefighters’ tools as climate change continues to increase instances of fire in the region.

(Nov. 27, 2021) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report

California Local Pin Marker Recent Articles

County park will honor late Sheriff’s deputy
APTOS—Plans were announced Thursday of a major renovation of Willowbrook County Park to honor the late Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, who was gunned down in the line of duty in 2020. The project of “reimagining” the park …

Anxiety, Courage and Adrenaline Inside Firefighter Academy
Cadets face their fears in training courses for the Santa Cruz Fire Fighters Academy

PG&E to Hold Meeting on CZU Fire Wood Removal Program
The San Lorenzo Valley Post published details on a Jan. 12 meeting for homeowners affected by wood debris left behind by PG&E after the 2020 CZU Fire.

County providing Covid-19 tests ahead of return to school
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—As students prepare to return to school on Jan. 4, districts across the county are offering families a tool to test their children for Covid-19 before they return. While not required for return to class, the tests are …

Image caption: California is taking at least small steps to reform the county sheriffs system.
The Trouble With Sheriffs
Though they are elected officials, county sheriffs have less accountability than any other law enforcement officials. Here's why, and what California is doing about it.

Santa Cruz County Supervisors approve emergency declaration
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The Santa Cruz County Supervisors on Tuesday ratified an emergency declaration for the winter storms that occurred on Dec. 13. County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios made the initial declaration on Dec. 21. The decision will allow the county …

Image caption: Why are homicides on the rise in California? There are several plausible theories.
What Drove Homicide Rates Up?
California homicide spiked by 31 percent in 2020. The shocking increase has continued into 2021. Here are several theories that attempt to explain the state’s suddenly rising murder rate.

Benchlands’ Homeless Encampment Flood Sparks Bigger Conversation
With more rain coming, officials and experts discuss county’s ongoing homeless crisis.

Watsonville gains new firefighter
WATSONVILLE—Watsonville Fire Department will soon take on a new firefighter/paramedic after he completed the 16-week training academy at Watsonville Fire Station No. 2 on Airport Boulevard on Dec. 2. Adrian Chairez, of Santa Cruz, and three other trainees were officially …

Image caption: The Omicron variant spreads twice as fast as the highly contagious Delta variant.
What is ‘Omicron,’ and What’s California Doing About it?
Omicron is a new variant of the COVID-causing coronavirus that has now arrived in California and is causing fears of a new pandemic wave. What is it? Why are people so worried? And what, if anything, is California doing to …

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