Contra Costa Sheriff responds to article on North Richmond’s unsolved killings

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Deputies Crack Case of Missing Suspect Using a Combination of Good Luck and Timing Deputy Sheriffs responded earlier this month to a report of someone brandishing a weapon and making threats in unincorporated San Pablo. When Deputies arrived, the suspect had apparently returned to his home. Deputies got permission to check the home, but were not able to locate him. While Deputies were at the home, they heard banging and cries for help coming from the garage. Deputies discovered that the suspect hid himself in a standing air-tight gun safe in the garage and that he could not free himself. He had been in it for over an hour. He gave the combination to the safe to Deputies, who freed him. He was later booked at county jail.
Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.
Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston
Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston

Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston on Monday responded to a recent article in the West County Times about unsolved killings in North Richmond, an unincorporated area that is monitored by the sheriff’s office.

Letter from Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston:

The recent CC Times article, Justice Doesn’t Live Here, highlighted some of the challenges and issues facing the community of North Richmond. As the elected sheriff of Contra Costa County, I would like to offer some important follow-up information.

The Office of the Sheriff takes its law enforcement duties in North Richmond professionally, responsibly and seriously. The community is served by deputy sheriffs based out of Bay Station, which is commanded by a lieutenant and located in West Contra Costa County. As an unincorporated area, my office is the only law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to patrol North Richmond.

Like any other part of the county policed by the Office of the Sheriff, all calls for service are prioritized. The office currently has four resident deputies who work exclusively in North Richmond. In addition, there is a beat deputy who can respond to the area. They handle all types of calls ranging from crimes to quality of life issues.

The office is committed to community policing and partners with the residents and stakeholders in this tiny community with a population of about 3,200.

The office engages the community and is involved with numerous groups and governmental agencies: North Richmond Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC), North Richmond Green Program, North Richmond – El Sobrante Code Enforcement meeting, West County Alcohol Policy Working Group. In addition, the office is involved in several regional law enforcement efforts that cover North Richmond.

We believe our current policing strategy is effective. Over the last few years, most crimes in North Richmond have been trending downward. One example is homicide:

North Richmond Homicides
2010 – 6
2011 – 5
2012 – 2
2013 – 2

Armed robberies and burglaries remain a problem although their numbers are well below historic highs.

One of the biggest challenges in North Richmond is the lack of cooperation from citizens. Some do not report crimes and many witnesses and victims do not provide information. That makes if difficult, if not impossible to solve crimes. The office offers an anonymous tip line (866-846-3592) for anyone who would like to provide information on cases. Tips can also be emailed to tips@so.cccounty.us.

The Office of the Sheriff is proud to serve North Richmond. I place a high priority on service, responsiveness and openness. I am open to any ideas from the community on how we can partner and better serve you. Residents should know that the men and women of this Office are committed to serving North Richmond.

Sheriff David O. Livingston
Contra Costa County

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