San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

Greta Mart/KCBX News

One-third of San Luis Obispo County jail inmates have mental illness, and half the jail population is either homeless or doesn’t have stable housing on the outside. That's according to county health experts, who said the numbers have held steady even as they work to improve jail healthcare. The county board of supervisors got an update on jail health care this week and discussed ways to keep some of the area’s most vulnerable from ending up behind bars. But not all county jurisdictions are embracing preventative methods.

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson asked county officials this summer for an additional $3.55 million dollars in general fund money to cover unbudgeted overtime pay. Last year, several sheriff's department employees nearly doubled their salaries through working overtime hours. This month, Parkinson announced a plan to hire more deputies in an effort to rein in those overtime costs

Greta Mart/KCBX

Law enforcement in San Luis Obispo County has a new tool to help fight property theft, particularly farm equipment. It’s called SmartWater, but it’s not the bottled water you can find in a convenience store.

Greta Mart/KCBX

On New Year's Day, 2019, a new state law went into effect. SB 1421 insists that California police departments let the public see formerly-confidential misconduct records. Since then, more than 35 California newspapers and public radio stations—including KCBX—have joined forces to request those records. 

Bomb threat scam extends to Central Coast

Dec 14, 2018

A wave of bomb threats was sent out across the United States Thursday to hundreds of school, business and government entities, including several on the Central Coast. The threats have been determined to be part of a large hoax. 

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San Luis Obispo County officials held a public hearing this week about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to people arrested and held at the county jail. The California TRUTH Act, aimed at bringing transparency to local law enforcement participation with ICE, requires a community forum be held once a year.

2018 Primary: SLO County Sheriff candidates focus on mental illness

May 23, 2018
Courtesy of the Latino Outreach Council

As part of our coverage of the June 5 primary election, KCBX News invited some local candidates to the studio to learn more about their visions, experience and concerns. In this segment, we separately interviewed San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his challenger Greg Clayton.

Revisiting the life and death of Andrew Holland

Feb 22, 2018
Bree Zender/KCBX

There are nearly ten times as many mentally ill persons in jails and prisons as there are in mental hospitals presently in the U.S., according to a recent Marin County Civil Grand Jury report. And California's county jails have a "particularly severe burden" due to the closing of most of the state's mental hospitals. 

We are reexamining the 2017 death of Andrew Holland at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, with a special segment produced by former KCBX News reporter Bree Zender. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

San Luis Obispo County’s 911 emergency system is getting tech upgrade--you can now text 911 for emergencies.

Courtesy of SLO County Sheriff's Office

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has hired its first full-time forensic pathologist. Dr. Joye M. Carter will relocate from the Houston, Texas area to San Luis Obispo to perform autopsies, medical inspections and medical record reviews mandated by the Sheriff-Coroner's Office.

Cambria brush fire forces evacuations

Jul 19, 2017
Megan Schellong/KCBX

UPDATE 7/19/17 8 A.M.: Firefighters extinguished the fire Tuesday night, with three acres burned. All streets are open. 

UPDATE 7/18/17 5 P.M.: Just before 5 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted and CalFire reported good progress made towards containment. 

A fire ignited early Tuesday afternoon in downtown Cambria, prompting San Luis Obispo County to issue evacuation orders for residences and businesses along Main Street and Bridge Street.