The report called out Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas’ office as “not accepting a fair and honest critique” of its current processes. It said Sonoma County officials threatened to leave the system and may not be suited for being the “node administrator,” or linchpin for network processes.

Part of the criticism was directed at a process in which the sergeant in charge, telecommunications bureau manager Dennis Smiley, entered 95 percent of the data himself and audited his own work, setting up a conflict and breach in the oversight framework.


“We concluded that if your older brother was a gang member and you walked down to the local 7-Eleven in a gang neighborhood, you would meet the criteria,” he said, “even though you had nothing to do with a gang.”

In one example, it said 42 individuals were listed in CalGang who were supposedly 1 year old at the time of entry. Twenty-eight of those people were entered for “admitting to being gang members,” the report said. 

Also, it said hundreds of people were kept in the database well beyond the five-year purge date. Others had purge dates mistakenly set more than 100 years in the future, the report said.

The report also found agencies did not implement a law requiring them to notify parents when a minor is listed in the database. Because of that, family members did not have a chance to challenge the listings, the report said



Shining Light on Sonoma County Sheriff’s Descent into Darkness and Mapping a Way Out

Letter to the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Task Force

Use of Police Body Cameras in Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

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