Vallejo Police Department under new 5-year state oversight to complete reforms

Melanie Woodrow Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Vallejo PD under new 5-year state oversight for reforms
California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday announced a five-year oversight of the Vallejo Police Department to reform its policies and practices.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that the California Department of Justice has entered into a stipulated judgment with the city of Vallejo and the Vallejo Police Department regarding reforms to the department's policies and practices.

"Each of us is here because we are committed to serving and protecting the members of this community," said Bonta.

The stipulated judgement outlines reform to Vallejo Police Department's policies and practices. It builds off a prior Memorandum of Understanding that expired in June.

"To date, the Vallejo PD has substantially complied with 20 of the 45 recommendations progress for sure but also not enough," Bonta continued.

The new five-year-plan requires the department to comply with all 45 recommendations as well as additional reforms related to bias, use of force, searches, seizures and arrests.

MORE: City of Vallejo declares state of emergency over police officer shortage

It also adds accountability components including an oversight and reform evaluator who will assess if the department is complying with the agreement.

Interim Police Chief Jason Ta addressed concerns regarding staffing shortages.

"It's going to be a challenge," said Ta.

He also explained why the department missed the mark in the prior agreement.

"What we learned in hindsight was a lot of these reforms had to be completed at the same time initially when we started our efforts we were working it chronologically," Ta continued.

The previous MOU was entered into days after a Vallejo police officer shot and killed Sean Monterrosa from the backseat of an unmarked police vehicle.

MORE: Vallejo PD whistleblower settles lawsuit with city for close to $1 million

His sister Michelle says she's pleased with the announcement.

"Because there was a time when we didn't hear anything from anyone," said Michelle Monterrosa.

Monterrosa's sisters have been advocating on his behalf for the past three years.

"All our pleas haven't gone unheard not just our family's but the community's and to see this collaborative agreement come forward - it's just a testament to all of the work that everyone has done," Monterrosa continued.

During the announcement there was little said about the AG's investigation into Monterrosa's death

"We're looking into Monterrosa of course," said Bonta.

VIDEO: Family plans action after Vallejo officer who shot, killed Sean Monterrosa in 2020 gets job back

The Monterrosa family is planning action after fired Vallejo police officer Jarrett Tonn who shot, killed 22-year-old Sean in 2020, is reinstated.

But his sister says that's okay - they are patiently waiting.

"When things are rushed they're not always done right so you know our family has always grounded ourselves in the understanding that when the time is right we'll get the answers we need," said Monterrosa.

The new agreement has the full support of the Vallejo City Council and mayor who said it could become a roadmap for others.

"As we build together the successful transformation of the Vallejo Police Department into the first California Police Department to be a daily living example of the highest level of police professionalism in the state of California," said Mayor Robert McConnell.

The mayor called on the Vallejo Police Officers Association to support what needs to be done, perhaps even faster than five years. ABC7 News reached out to the Vallejo POA for comment. We have not yet heard back.

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