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Supes unanimously move for new trauma center, against sheriff

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal to create a trauma recovery center for survivors of violent crimes and other traumatic events.

The proposal also recommends providing immediate trauma-related services to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority employees and their families recovering from a mass shooting on May 26, when an employee gunned down nine of his co-workers before turning the gun on himself.

County staff will come back with recommendations for a center at the Sept. 14 board meeting, according to a news release Tuesday from county officials.

If approved, Santa Clara County would follow similar efforts in Contra Costa County, which opened three trauma centers July 1 catering to the needs of people who have suffered from physical violence, human trafficking and other forms of abuse.

Supervisors were also asked during Tuesday’s meeting to adopt a resolution declaring no confidence in Sheriff Laurie Smith, which they did unanimously. The six-term incumbent sheriff has been mired in criticism of jail mismanagement and excessive force, and allegations of bribery within her office. Smith has refused to cooperate with a criminal grand jury investigation into the bribery accusations.

The no-confidence resolution does not give supervisors power to remove Smith but it was an historic and unified public statement.  

District 5 Supervisor Joe Simitian said:

“There is a parade of horribles that has been marching, marching, marching. And we have to call it out and say, put an end to this.”  


Nik Wojcik of SFBay contributed to this report.

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