San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson was sworn into office on January 3, 2011. Parkinson's career in law enforcement in San Luis Obispo County began when he joined the Morro Bay Police Department in 1984. He transferred to the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 1988, where he rose to the rank of Captain, second in command of the department. 

The Sheriff began by telling us that they were able to clear out the Highway 1 and Cambria Drive homeless encampment just prior to the rain. The encampment filled up to about 6 feet of rain so a number of lives may have been saved by evacuating that area. 

This has been a very interesting year with COVID and our lives have been changed in many ways. We have all been on a roller coaster. There have been many changes to how it is dealt with. Deputies still have to be on the street and make contact. The jail has done a great job keeping the incidence down. 

We had 3 deputy involved shootings within a 4 month period which is unprecedented for our county. In all 3 cases, the suspect was killed and in 2 cases 2 of the deputies were shot. Both deputies suffered significant injuries with one being shot in the jaw and the other shot in the leg. He was pleased to report that both deputies are doing well and will hopefully return to the job soon. The downside of these events is the mental toll it takes on the deputies and the families of those injured. And the taking of a life can be difficult to deal with. 

Crime is up, but major crimes in January are down. There has been a increase over the past year in burglaries, theft, and property crimes possibly caused by the economy and/or the mass release of prisoners from county jails. Domestic violence has been consistently up every month likely due to the COVID lockdown and the economy. 

On the Cambria front, the biggest issue has been the homeless. Especially during fire season, it is imperative that encampments be taken down as quickly as possible. Luckily, Cal Fire has been very quick in pulling the trigger to get aircraft from Paso in the air, many times arriving before the fire engines can get there. 

When asked who we can contact if we see homeless entering deeply wooded ravines, he encouraged us to call the Coast Station at 805-528-6083 and ask to speak Cmdr. McDonald or one of his sergeants. They are anxious to know about any homeless in heavily wooded areas because of fires. Some of these are well hidden and hard for the Deputies to locate.