[Statewide] San Bernardino County Grand Jury Receives Excellence in Reporting Award for “Apple Valley Unified School District Police Department”

South Lake Tahoe, Calif., October 1, 2018. The California Grand Jurors’ Association has granted the Grand Jury Reporting Award to the 2016-17 San Bernardino County Grand Jury for its report “Apple Valley Unified School District Police Department.”

From January 2014 through December 2016, the Apple Valley Unified School District Police Department (AVUSD-PD) ordered over 700 vehicles towed from public roadways. This number was proportionately higher than that in adjacent school districts in the same time period. All were towed by a single tow company. An examination of the issued citations revealed that most vehicles were not stopped for hazardous moving violations, but rather for equipment or registration violations that were outside of the authority of the AVUSD-PD. During the same period, there was a decline in student-related interactions and on-campus activity by the police. 

After the grand jury began its inquiry, the AVUSD-PD changed is tow methodology to involve additional companies. The grand jury recommended that illegally obtained funds be returned, restitution made where appropriate, the owners be notified of their rights when subject to tow and the limits of the police authority be made clear and police duties and responsibilities prioritized. 

The annual Grand Jury Reporting Award recognizes a grand jury report that is of high quality, has a positive impact on the community and increases awareness of the California grand jury system. The award was presented on October 1 at the association’s 37th annual conference held in South Lake Tahoe. Norma Grosjean (San Bernardino Grand Jury Assistant), Sharon Bragg (San Bernardino Superior Court Administrator) and Ron Zurek (member of the 2016-17 grand jury) accepted the award on behalf of the San Bernardino County Grand Jury.

 

The California Grand Jurors’ Association is a statewide nonprofit organization of former grand jurors with the mission “to promote, preserve and support the grand jury system through training, education and outreach.”

October 1, 2018

California Grand Jurors’ Association press release

Contact: Jim Ragan, Public Relations Committee Chair, at jimragan@charter.net