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Board of Supervisors meeting, 733 new cases, 3 deaths, increase in younger people

The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on July 14. You can watch it live below:

Riverside County updated coronavirus numbers and information at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Director of Public Health Kim Saruwatari said the County is reporting 733 new cases today and 3 new deaths. She explained that results have been lagging because of delays at the labs.

Director Saruwatari pointed out that the doubling time for cases has gone down to 23.7 days and that was concerning. She also discussed that cases have been shifting to the younger demographic and that cases are rising in the 5 to 17 and 18 to 39 age groups.

Dr. Kaiser also spoke and expressed that masks are great, but that he is concerned that people keep meeting with groups outside of who they live with. Dr. Kaiser encouraged people to stay within the circle of people they live with and to avoid gathering with others even if they are healthy.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is holding their weekly meeting Tuesday morning. This is the first meeting since Gov. Newsom ordered more closures in the state, including indoor operations for barbershops, malls, gyms, nail salons, and churches.

Full Details: Gov. Newsom announces more indoor shutdowns in Riverside County

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser and Director Kim Saruwatari are on hand to provide the latest updates on the county's coronavirus data in the last two meetings as well.

As of Monday, July 13, Riverside County has reported 25,748 coronavirus cases with 289,362 tests conducted. 9,711 people have recovered and 550 have died.

On Friday, ICU beds usage reached 100% for the first time since the pandemic started. On Monday that number was down to 98.2%, with 139 out of the 378 ICU beds in usage being occupied by patients with coronavirus.

The board is also set to consider a resolution calling for the formation of a unit to investigate all lethal force incidents involving sheriff's deputies, as well as encouraging a team approach to handle mentally ill individuals during calls for service that could escalate into deadly confrontations.

Supervisors Karen Spiegel and Chuck Washington are jointly proposing the resolution, titled "Commitment to Evidence-Based Policing and Transparency by Allied Law Enforcement Agencies in Riverside County."

"Agencies are actively committed to enacting …. changes which will enhance service to our communities, transparency and accountability to the public, ensure public confidence and allow law enforcement agencies to work cooperatively across jurisdictional boundaries,'' according to the resolution posted to the Board of Supervisors' policy agenda for Tuesday.

The supervisors noted that the Allied Riverside County Chiefs of Police and Sheriff -- ARCCOPS -- has been working since the start of the year to modify policies in an effort to boost public confidence in local enforcement tactics. Outrage over the death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day has placed greater emphasis on quickening the pace of change and broadening it, according to Spiegel and Washington.

The supervisors' resolution seeks cooperation from the sheriff, district attorney, the heads of a dozen municipal law enforcement agencies and
three college police departments, as well as the California Highway Patrol, in forming a unit that would cross-utilize personnel to investigate deadly force encounters.

"The Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office have a need to create a combined force investigations team of eight investigators, four from each agency, and a supervisor from the Sheriff's Department," the resolution states. "The team will be responsible for the investigation of all deadly force and officer-involved shooting incidents throughout the county, regardless of the law enforcement agency involved.''

The thrust of the proposal is to remove an agency from primary investigative responsibility following a deadly force incident involving one of its personnel.

According to the resolution, ARCCOPS should also move toward joint training in the best methods for "de-escalation" of potential lethal encounters with suspects.

"This includes the use of specialized teams, such as SWAT and other special operations, where situations can be slowed down using time and distance
to prevent violent confrontations while simultaneously preserving life and
public safety,'' the proposal states.

A final reform sought by the supervisors is deployment of mental health specialists with law enforcement officers to detain individuals who are known to have mental disorders or who are homeless.

It is unclear how or when the pairing would work, but according to the supervisors, several law enforcement agencies are already in the process of utilizing behavioral health experts for some field operations. "This collaboration can work to de-escalate potentially volatile and violent situations," according to the resolution. "The collaboration's goal is to increase connections to resources and social service programs, provide crisis triage alternatives … engage homeless populations, minimize arrests, reduce repeat encounters with law enforcement and use of force encounters.''

The supervisors are hoping the Riverside Sheriffs Association and other collective bargaining units would take part in the policy refinement effort. However, even if approved, the resolution is not an exercise of authority by the board because the sheriff and district attorney are independently elected, and municipal law enforcement agencies are not under the county's direction.

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Jesus Reyes

City News Service

Timothy Kiley

Timothy Kiley is Assistant News Director for News Channel 3 starting in 2002 as Photojournalist.

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