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Criminal Justice Day

Class 37’s Criminal Justice Day on March 1, began at the Santa Cruz Police

Department. Chief Bernie Escalante started the day with an overview of the city’s police

department; covering its mission, staffing, budget, and approach to community policing.

This was followed by an interactive discussion by both the District Attorney, Jeff Rosell

and the Chief Deputy Director from the Public Defender’s Office, Athena Reis. The

class came away with a much better understanding of how these offices work in tandem

to enforce the law while ensuring that the accused rights are protected.

Next the class was off for a tour of the County Jail and the Blaine Street Women’s Facility. First, the class met with Chief Deputy Daniel Freitas, who oversees the Corrections Bureau, as he provided an overview of the Sheriff's Department and the jail. He and his staff then

provided the class with a sobering tour of the facilities. Next the class then had the

opportunity to tour the Rountree Rehabilitation and Reentry Facility and compare this to

their experience at the main jail.

The day ended with a tour of the Santa Cruz Regional 911 facility adjacent to the DeLaveaga Golf Course. General Manager, Amethyst Uchida explained the many facets of handling the emergency communications for law enforcement, fire, and the community. While the class was exposed to a great deal of information and experiences, they walked away with a much better understanding of the complexities involved in keeping our community safe.

Thank you to our sponsors!

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