With a 30-year career in California, Sheriff Greg Munks has been the head of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office since 2006. Beyond law enforcement, Sheriff Greg Munks serves the youth of his community through his association with the Sheriff’s Activities League.
Founded in 1997, the Sheriff’s Activities League (SAL) provides leadership, education, and sports activities for disadvantaged youth throughout San Mateo County. SAL provides mentoring, sports, and arts programs for more than 1,000 kids. The organization also hosts an annual summer camp in the mountains, in which approximately 100 young participants enjoy traditional camp activities with strong gang prevention and anti-drug messages. SAL recently announced the successful conclusion of its Healthy Kids STEM pilot program to help female and minority students get a head start in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects.
At its heart, SAL strives to build youths’ self-esteem and to build trust among law enforcement officers, the youth of the community, and the community at large. To this end, the organization hosts approximately 30,000 people every year at the popular multicultural North Fair Oaks Community Festival. In early June, SAL was part of the volunteer “Be Seen Keepin’ It Clean” event to clean up public park space in North Fair Oaks.
To learn more about Sheriff Gregory Munks and the Sheriff’s Activities League, please visit the SAL website at http://www.sheriffsactivitiesleague.com.
Designed to socialize troublesome dogs into adoptable pets and to provide structure for San Mateo County jail inmates, the T.A.I.L.S. Program (Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations) pairs shelter dogs from the Peninsula Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with suitable inmates for an eight-week training period.
Started in 2009, the unique partnership has brought together 42 inmates with 42 dogs who have all successfully completed the dog training program. Both the men and the animals benefit from the instruction, and some participants grow quite fond of each other. Because the animal shelters face overcrowding, they also appreciate the service provided by the T.A.I.L.S. program.
Animal and handler spend two months together around the clock, attending training sessions and even sleeping in the same cell. The pets’ adoption potential is enhanced, while the men learn the importance of discipline and display improved behavior and an increase in civility.
About the author:
Since June 2006, Sheriff Gregory Munks has served as Sheriff of San Mateo County. He is responsible for initiating the T.A.I.L.S. Program. In 1995, Sheriff Greg Munks earned a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University.
In March 2012, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office established The Coastside Neighborhood Response Team to combat gang-related criminal activities in and around the city of Half Moon Bay, California. Comprised of deputies already working in Half Moon Bay and the nearby communities, The Coastside Neighborhood Response Team aims to respond to a recent rise in gang-related crime and combat a lack of leads due to intimidation. The Coastside Neighborhood Response Team will work in conjunction with previously instated gang-related initiatives, including the re-deployment of the Gang Task Force, enhanced communication mechanisms, and graffiti abatement.
One of the initiative’s primary efforts involves identifying and monitoring gang members and gang-related activities. To improve communication between members of law enforcement, any information discovered through these efforts will be shared with the Sheriff’s Office for use in further investigations. In addition, this information will assist members of law enforcement in the ongoing prevention and intervention of gang-related crime activity.
About the Author:
Sheriff Gregory Munks played an integral role in the development and implementation of The Coastside Neighborhood Response Team. Sheriff Greg Munks has served as Sheriff of San Mateo County since 2007.
With most of the country’s prisons facing serious overcrowding, many public safety officials are seeking strategies for reducing the recidivism rate (that is, the rate at which ex-convicts offend again). So far, research has pointed to a few factors that lead to decreased recidivism:
• Housing support: Some ex-convicts are barred from living in certain areas, and many have difficulty securing housing because of their criminal record or inability to get a job. Providing this crucial element of stability helps to keep offenders out of situations that might lead to reoffending.
• Health care and/or substance abuse treatment: Without strategies for staying sober or dealing with chronic mental and physical illnesses, the likelihood of recidivism increases.
• Training for legitimate jobs: Finding work is a huge hurdle for many ex-cons. Providing training in skills that are in demand, as well as “soft-skill” training (e.g., learning how to make a good impression in an interview), helps to overcome this barrier.
About Sheriff Gregory Munks
A law enforcement professional his entire adult life, Greg Munks has served as sheriff of San Mateo County since 2006. In this role, he introduced a re-entry facility that provides vocational training, substance abuse treatment, and health care to inmates returning to the public.
This summer marked the third anniversary of Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations, or TAILS. Run jointly by Sheriff Greg Munks’ office and the Peninsula Humane Society, the program pairs dogs with behavioral problems with inmates from the Maple Street Complex Facility, a minimum-security prison in Redwood City, California.
The men attend training classes with the animals, where they learn potential job skills like dog grooming and obedience training. At the same time, the dogs get lots of attention and learn to behave, overcoming their documented social issues. After class, inmates bring the dogs back to the facility, continuing the dogs’ training, socializing, and physical workouts. The classes last eight weeks.
Since its launch, nearly 80 inmates and 40 dogs have completed the classes. All 40 of the previously unadoptable dogs have found homes, while inmates claim to enjoy the feeling of responsibility and normality.
Encouraged by the success of TAILS, Sheriff Gregory Munks plans to extend the program to female inmates. He has set aside space in a planned women’s facility.
Investing money in effective drug abuse prevention activities for children can have a tremendously positive impact on communities and economies. One study shows that for every dollar invested in effective anti-drug programs communities save $10 (in costs that include law enforcement, treatment, and correction).
Ideally, drug use prevention starts at home. Parents are the primary role models in their children’s lives, and research shows that, by opening the lines of communication with children, parents can prevent drug use. Specifically, parents should discuss the facts about how drugs harm the body, situations in which drugs might be offered, and potential responses to offers to use drugs. Parents should also model drug-free ways to cope with stress and pressure.
Outside the home, schools and other programs should teach children directly about how drugs work and what health and wellness dangers they pose. Engaging activities related to drug abuse resistance education involve children firsthand in understanding how and why to avoid drugs.
About Sheriff Gregory Munks
In his role as Sheriff of San Mateo County, Greg Munks leads the Sheriff’s Activities League, which provides activities for 1,000 disadvantaged children. One of the league’s focal events is an annual summer camp that teaches drug and gang avoidance while providing typical summer camp activities.