Speak Up Newport August Meeting: Law Enforcement During COVID-19

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Speak Up Newport, a non-partisan citywide residents group organized to promote the common good and general welfare of the Newport Beach community, is hosting its monthly meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, August 12, from 4 to 5 p.m.

The August meeting topics is Law Enforcement Challenges with Constantly Changing COVID-19 Restrictions and Civil Unrest.

Guests are Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis. They will discuss the challenges their agencies face during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the questions they will answer:

  • How are they handling the constantly changing COVID-19 restrictions?
  • Law enforcement agencies are under attack nationwide. How has this affected their civilian and uniformed staff?
  • What are their policies on use of force, including chokeholds?
  • What is their feeling on the stalled legislation in Washington DC regarding law enforcement?
  • What provisions do they favor? Which ones do they oppose?

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Chief Jon Lewis

Chief Jon T. Lewis is the 10th Chief of Police in the Department’s history, assuming office on March 22, 2016.

Chief Lewis began his law enforcement career with the Newport Beach Police Department in July of 1991, and has worked in a variety of assignments, including: Bike Patrol, Gang Suppression, Drug Recognition Expert, SWAT, Economic Crimes Detective, Field Training Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Professional Standards Unit Sergeant, Patrol Division Watch Commander, Support Services Commander, Executive Officer, Crisis Negotiation Team Commander and Deputy Chief.

As Deputy Chief, he served in the Detective Division before transferring to the Patrol/Traffic Division with responsibility for the Department’s uniform personnel.

Chief Lewis has been highly involved in the Newport Beach community for many years. He is an active member of the prestigious Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodore’s Club and serves on the Newport Beach and Company Board of Directors.

He is a graduate of the Leadership Tomorrow program and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the 2014 Bowl Championship Series Host Committee and the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Committee. Jon also serves on the Regional Narcotic Suppression Program (RNSP) Executive Board, the Orange County Auto Theft Taskforce (OCATT) Executive Committee and the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness. He is a member of the Orange County Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association, the California Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Sheriff Don Barnes

Sheriff Don Barnes was elected the 13th Sheriff-Coroner for Orange County in November 2018. He began his law enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1989.

With three decades of service to the people of Orange County, Sheriff Barnes is well versed in the public safety needs of Orange County residents. As Sheriff, Don Barnes is leading initiatives aimed at reducing the prevalence of drugs in our neighborhoods, enhancing school safety, mitigating the impacts of homelessness, and advocating for the restoration of accountability to our criminal justice system.

Sheriff Barnes leads the 4,000 sworn and professional men and women who serve in areas as diverse as Patrol Operations, Criminal and Special Investigations, the County’s Crime Lab and Courts, Coroner’s Office, as well as those who serve in Orange County’s five jails that collectively comprise one of the nation’s largest jail systems.

The department provides a variety of vital public safety services to our communities. These include direct patrol services to more than 783,000 residents within the county’s unincorporated areas and via contract to thirteen municipal cities, the County’s three harbors, John Wayne Airport, and the Orange County Transportation Agency.

Over the course of his law enforcement career Sheriff Barnes has held every rank in the department, including three years as the agency’s chief operating officer in the position of Undersheriff.

Under his leadership, OCSD continues to be one of the country’s foremost law enforcement agencies. Innovative measures to address homelessness, protect houses of worship and reform custody operations have been recognized nationally. In February 2020, Sheriff Barnes was appointed to serve on the Social Problems Working Group, a subcommittee of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement.

Sheriff Barnes strongly believes that members of law enforcement must be engaged with the community they serve. To that end, he has taken leadership roles in numerous community organizations. He serves as the Board Chairman for Orange County Crime Stoppers and as Chair of the Integrated Law and Justice Agency of Orange County. Additionally, he is a board member for Laura’s House, a board member for the Multi-Ethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies (MECCA), a member of the Special Olympics Regional Leadership Council and a member of the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness.

Speak Up Newport is a non-partisan citywide residents group organized to promote the common good and general welfare of the Newport Beach community. This is accomplished through:

  • Drawing attention to the desirable and unique quality of life in Newport Beach.
  • Taking action to inform residents of the issues impacting Newport Beach.
  • Celebrating the good things that happen in Newport Beach.
  • Recognizing the people who have a positive impact on Newport Beach.

The objective of SUN is to provide a forum for all residents to review and discuss the challenges and opportunities for Newport Beach as a model city in which to live, work, play and retire. Visit www.SpeakUpNewport.com for more information.

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