Paso Robles

Officials Closely Monitoring ‘Unprecedented' Attacks on Law Enforcement

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The attack on the Paso Robles Police Department and its officers is the third direct violent assault on law enforcement in the past two weeks.

The series of what Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith calls unprecedented attacks is forcing Bay Area law enforcement to prepare for the worst.

In Scott Valley, there has been a lot of community debate online on whether it's appropriate to hold a protest over the death of George Floyd given the killing Saturday of a Santa Cruz County deputy.

For law enforcement in the Bay Area, the Paso Robles shooting is yet another reason to be prepared for anything.

To go along with the emotions generated by recent protests, officers have seen:

  • a federal officer killed in Oakland on May 29,
  • a Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office deputy shot to death in a reported ambush Saturday,
  • then Wednesday's manhunt in Paso Robles for someone who fired at the police department and then seriously wounding a deputy.

Smith said it forces all law enforcement agencies to put up their guard and make changes.

"We're going to reevaluate a lot of the equipment we've issued," Smith said. "And we've brought ballistic vests now for all of our deputies."

The San Jose Police Officers Association said its department is also watching the recent attacks, adjusting procedures and attitudes.

"Because of what's going on -- unprovoked ambushes if you will -- against officers across this nation even when we're off duty, probably even more so, we're keeping our head on a swivel," said Sean Pritchard, San Jose Police Officers Association president.

Law enforcement agencies are monitoring the investigations into these recent incidents since some of the suspects are still unknown and at large.

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