Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood

Kern County Library Facebook

It's been one month since the death of George Floyd and communities across the country are debating the reallocation of funding from law enforcement agencies to social services. But in Bakersfield this week, the city council voted to increase its police budget and hire more officers. The funding came from Measure N, a sales tax passed by voters in 2018 to address community priorities.

Kern County Library Facebook

The Kern County Library hosted a conversation between the Sheriff’s Office and local African American leaders Wednesday afternoon. 

During the livestream meeting, a series of panelists asked Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood about different incidents and practices in the department. 

KERN COUNTY HOMELESS COLLABORATIVE FACES OF HOMELESSNESS FACEBOOK PAGE

A statewide survey conducted last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found most Californians see homelessness as a top issue for the state, but how counties are choosing to tackle it differs widely. In Kern County, officials are considering jailing homeless people for misdemeanor drug offenses. To go into effect, the proposal needs funding approval from the Bakersfield City Council.

Kern County Sheriff's Department

Kern County's sheriff announced Wednesday the department’s gang unit is shutting down, and one of the driving factors is limited funds.  

 

“We’re running out of people and we’re unable to recruit and retain more than we’re losing,” Sheriff Donny Youngblood says. “So we’re getting smaller and smaller and this is probably just the beginning of more cuts to come.”