Our View: Let’s meet the new Nevada County sheriff
January 11, 2019
It's cliché, but we're going to say it anyway:
There's a new sheriff in town.
On Monday Shannan Moon took the oath of office and became the sheriff of Nevada County. People who crowded into the supervisors chambers to witness the event erupted into cheers and applause. They swamped Moon afterward, offering well wishes and congratulations.
Moon's ascendency to the office is significant in several ways, not least of which is that it's been 20 years since we've had a new sheriff.
This is Moon's home. She's no stranger to this county. Our community knows Shannan Moon, but it hasn't yet had the chance to meet Sheriff Moon.
We'll get that chance over the next few months.
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Moon said during her campaign that she wanted a strategic plan for the Sheriff's Office. That document should be public.
This strategic plan is one way we'll learn about the new sheriff. We hope it will provide insight into the inner workings of our Sheriff's Office, which includes patrol, the 911 dispatch center, juvenile hall, coroner duties, officer training, hiring, retention, as well as legislative goals.
Moon's take on those operations will show us much about the direction her office will take.
A public session involving the sheriff and Nevada County Board of Supervisors would help as well. The supervisors hold their annual workshop this month. Moon should have a spot on their agenda.
Does the sheriff need more money for additional deputies? What about an update on the body cameras?
Moon might not have all the answers, or know exactly what her office will need by then. That doesn't negate the need for open discussion between her and supervisors about her office's next steps.
Such a meeting also could be a good chance for residents to chime in with their own thoughts.
We've got a few of our own.
The Sheriff's Office needs a plan to address our opioid and methamphetamine problem. Will it allocate more money, resources and education to this issue?
What changes, if any, will the Sheriff's Office take toward the county's homelessness? How can it play a role in the day center and housing project slated for Old Tunnel Road?
Let's see a plan for how the Sheriff's Office will tackle wildfire. Several county agencies need to not only update their fire plans, but also get more residents involved and knowledgeable about this issue.
What will change, if anything, with her office's relationship with Sammie's Friends, the county's animal shelter? Our community saw a contentious relationship brewing last year between these two. Let's work out the kinks and get on the right track.
And, of course, how will the Sheriff's Office move forward on the issue of cannabis? The county's still working on its grow ordinance. Deputies don't need to focus on small grows, but at the same time our neighborhoods deserve freedom from the nuisances grows can bring.
Whether it's deputies, code compliance officers or someone else, residents need to know who to call. Our government needs to figure that out.
It's easy for us, or anyone, to critique government officials. It's extremely difficult for those officials to achieve every single goal the community sets for them, much less the goals those officials set for themselves.
Moon has much going for her. She's got the experience, the knowledge and the backing of many people in this county. Former Sheriff Keith Royal, who publicly supported Moon's opponent, said the county would be in good hands with her at the helm.
Our community is counting on it. That's why we'd like to welcome our new sheriff to town.
Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.