The sheriff of San Mateo County, California, for the last six years, Sheriff Greg Munks takes a leading role in the annual North Fair Oaks Festival. The festival provides a celebration of food, music, art, and community partnership that is free and open to the public. Under Sheriff Gregory Munks’ leadership, the event has begun to feature scholarship awards for young women who otherwise would be unable to afford tuition. 

Since its beginning in 2002, the North Fair Oaks Festival has grown to entertain more than 30,000 citizens of the greater Redwood City area on a yearly basis. The 12th annual North Fair Oaks Community Festival will take place on Sunday, August 25, 2013, on Redwood City’s Middlefield Road. A sneak peek of the festival’s numerous music, dance, and fine art performances will be provided on Thursday, August 22, at the Sabor del Festival Preview Party. Held in the County History Museum, this event will feature great food and a variety of wine and spirits from Latin America. All proceeds go to benefit the youth programs of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

n response to an increase in gang-related activities, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office launched the Coastside Neighborhood Response Team in the coastside communities of San Mateo County in March 2012. To meet its mission, the organization identifies, verifies, and monitors local gang members while assisting the Sheriff’s Office with related criminal investigations. To accomplish these goals, the Sheriff’s Office has dedicated resources and personnel to create the team.

Since its establishment, the Coastside Neighborhood Response Team has identified 120 gang members and 75 associates, who have either admitted to gang participation, possessed gang symbols, or been identified by credible sources. 

This initiative is just one of many introduced by the Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to suppress gang activity in San Mateo County. Other programs include graffiti abatement and improved communication methods. 

About the author: Sheriff Gregory Munks has been an employee of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office since 1993, when he became the County’s Undersheriff. Previously he served the City of Palo Alto.