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Sanctuary law focus of westside community meeting

Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa is hosting a public forum in Turlock on Monday where local law enforcement will speak about California’s Sanctuary Law and policing in the local community.

Chiesa will be joined by Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse and Turlock Police Chief Jason Hedden at the forum being held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Westside Ministries, 950 Columbia St., Turlock.

“It is always great to have the community and law enforcement engage in conversation to create better understanding,” said Chiesa.

California Senate Bill 54, commonly referred to as the Sanctuary Law, is a 2017 state law that prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources on behalf of federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Along with a presentation on SB 54, Chiesa said there will be an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with Sheriff Dirkse and Chief Hedden on “issues that are on people’s minds.”

Hedden is coming into his third month as Turlock’s new police chief. He took over from interim police chief Gary Hampton in February. Before taking over the Turlock Police Department, Hedden served as the acting police chief in Los Banos. He and family have been Turlock residents for 16 years and his children attend school in Turlock.

For more information about Monday’s community forum, contact Megan Wells at (209) 525-6464 or