American Law Enforcement is an ever-evolving profession. As such, every progressive agency is required to look ahead at future trends, technology breakthroughs and changes in the law in order to employ the best practices and latest advances in tactics and technology. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is certainly no exception.
The section responsible for ensuring that the Kern County Sheriff's Office stays at the cutting edge of contemporary police practices is the Planning and Research Section. This section has the following responsibilities:
Planning and Research is responsible for constantly reviewing our policies and procedures, comparing them to current law and best practices and then making the necessary policy adjustments. The closely related task of staying abreast of future trends, technologies, public sentiments, and media attentions and making recommendations to appropriate command staff in order to ensure this agency is adequately prepared and equipped to meet the department’s mission now and in the future is also part of the Planning and Research Section’s responsibilities.
Special projects that may involve the entire agency and are especially time consuming or complex also fall within the purview of the Planning and Research Section.
The Professional Standards Unit is part of Planning and Research. This unit conducts regularly scheduled inspections of all areas of the sheriff’s office in an effort to ensure that our policies and procedures are being followed. The unit is responsible to maintain an open line of communication with the agency’s Internal Affairs Unit so that developing trends or patterns of performance may be evaluated and a determination may be made on whether or not policies are being followed and whether or not the policy manual should be adjusted to improve our personnel’s performance.
The Sheriff's Public Information Officer is assigned to the Planning and Research Section. The Public Information Officer serves as our point of contact for the media. The PIO handles daily inquiries from the news media, initiates news releases on developing events, provides live and taped interviews for news reporters and answers various questions from the public regarding the Sheriff’s Office.
The PIO also responds to major events in order to relieve incident commanders of the responsibility of dealing with the media so that they can focus on the situation before them. Other duties of the PIO may include handling media contacts at homicide scenes, officer involved shootings, aircraft crashes and other major events which spark significant interest from the news media and the public.