VALLEJO – The city of Vallejo will attempt to get a police oversight model in place next month before three new Vallejo City Council members are seated.
The city is tentatively scheduled to introduce an ordinance establishing an oversight model on Dec. 15, following two community workshops set for Dec. 6 and Dec. 12. Final approval is set for Dec. 20.
City spokeswoman Christina Lee said the proposed ordinance outlining the duties and responsibilities of the police oversight model will be released before the workshops.
“The intent of the workshops is to solicit community feedback (on the proposed oversight model),” Lee added.
The council received feedback from city officials and community members in August about which oversight model would work best to reform the beleaguered police department.
Most of the council said they wished to hear more about a model presented from Common Ground, a non-partisan group of religious and non-profit organizations in Solano and Napa counties, which is advocating for a three-prong approach: a civilian police commission, inspector general, and community police review agency. Vallejo’s proposed model is heavily influenced by the established oversight model in Oakland.
Common Ground further recommended that Vallejo residents serve on the commission tasked with overseeing a review agency, which would investigate officer use of force, including fatal shootings by officers, any in-custody deaths, and allegations of racial profiling by officers.
An independent inspector general would ensure the police department is complying with its policies and policing practices.
Common Ground’s proposal is endorsed by Ashely and Michelle Monterrosa, whose brother Sean Monterrosa was shot and killed by Vallejo police Det. Jarrett Tonn during the early morning hours of June 2, 2020.
Reforming the police department has become a priority for the council and many in the community as Vallejo police have killed 19 people since 2010.
During the same August council meeting, City Attorney Veronica Nebb gave a lengthy presentation on various oversight models used by 17 other cities. Nebb, along with Chief Assistant City Attorney Randy Risner, presented what they called “unscientific data” on what type of model those in attendance wished to see. At the time, Nebb said her office had yet to vet the recommendation from Common Ground, which provided its fifth version to the council.
City regulations require the council to provide two separate approvals before an ordinance takes effect. The ordinance is tentatively scheduled to be introduced during a special meeting on Dec. 15, with final approval set during the council’s last regular meeting of the year on Dec. 20.
Diosdado “J.R.” Matulac (District 2 - North Vallejo), Charles Palmares (District 4 - Mare Island and downtown), and Peter Bregenzer (District 5 - Central Vallejo) are scheduled to be sworn in as the newest members of the city council in early January, replacing outgoing councilmembers Pippin Dew, Katy Miessner, and Hakeem Brown.
Dew and Miessner are termed out of office after being elected to the council in 2013, with both securing second terms in 2018. Brown, also elected in 2018, decided against a second term, following his unsuccessful bid to become mayor in 2020.
The city has launched a webpage to keep the community up-to-date about the police oversight model.
Before you go...
It’s expensive to produce the kind of high-quality journalism we do at the Vallejo Sun. And we rely on reader support so we can keep publishing.
If you enjoy our regular beat reporting, in-depth investigations, and deep-dive podcast episodes, chip in so we can keep doing this work and bringing you the journalism you rely on.
Click here to become a sustaining member of our newsroom.
THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Vallejo City Council
- Vallejo Police Department
- Christina Lee
- Katy Miessner
- Hakeem Brown
- Pippin Dew
- Peter Bregenzer
- Diosdado “J.R.” Matulac
- Charles Palmares
- Common Ground
- Ashley Monterrosa
- Michelle Monterrosa
- Veronica Nebb
- Randy Risner
John Glidden worked as a journalist covering the city of Vallejo for more than 10 years. He left journalism in 2023 and currently works in the office of Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
follow me :