Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele gave insight on the AB 109 realignment, as well as the investigation into the fires that destroyed several patrol vehicles.
The Sheriff was the guest on Mother Lode Views over the weekend.
As part of AB 109, many lower level offenders will be staying in the county rather than go to state prison. Mele says that many of the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office have not changed, but adds that the success of the program is contingent on the state coming through to properly fund the transition in the coming years. “You’re going to see more inmates on electronic monitoring,” says Mele. “There will be split sentencing where inmates sentenced to four years may spend two years in county jail and two years on electronic monitoring.”
The Tuolumne County Probation Department is leading many of the programs related to AB 109, but the Sheriff’s Office is actively involved on a day-to-day basis.
No arrests have been made from the December 1st incident where several patrol vehicles where set on fire outside the Sheriff’s Office administration building. “We have some video and DNA,” says Mele. “That evidence is in Quantico, Virginia. We’re trying to enhance the video, kind of like you see on TV, so that we can get a clearer picture.”
Mele said that unlike television, it takes longer than 60 minutes to make conclusions regarding the DNA and video evidence. To hear the entire 30 minute Mother Lode Views, click here.