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Southern Humboldt town hall meeting planned for Thursday

REDWAY- Half a year after Southern Humboldt citizens demanded an increased sheriff's response, citizens will get another chance to address local issues and work to find solutions. On Thursday, January 15, the Garberville-Redway Chamber of Commerce will welcome local leaders and the community for a town hall forum about the issues that plague Southern Humboldt.

Last June, a similar meeting was held with Supervisor Estelle Fennell and Sheriff Mike Downey after citizens petitioned the lack of law enforcement coverage in the area. At that meeting, the community addressed rampant drug issues and transient violence, as well as a lack of police support. Shortly after that meeting, the sheriff implemented a problem oriented policing unit to focus on those issues, leading to searches at several identified drug houses. However, crime is still on the rise. 

At Thursday's meeting, Undersheriff Bill Honsal will introduce Southern Humboldt's new resident sergeant Jesse Taylor and will hear community input on further solutions.

"Everyone is welcome to come and voice their concerns but we also want their solutions to some of these problems," Undersheriff Honsal said. "Because it is a community issue, we want the community to have input on how we should best look at this. we know the crime. If the crime occurs in front of us, we know how to deal with that but the ongoing issues of transients, community policing neighborhood watch, those are the things that we really want to work with the community on."

Undersheriff Honsal says the office plans to recruit more deputies for local patrols with the help of Measure Z funding. However those funds won't be accessible until June.

The town hall meeting is being held January 15 at 6 at the Redway Elementary School gymnasium.