A popular pumpkin patch and fall festival locale outside of Morgan Hill is asking for off-duty, uniformed Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies to stand guard through the Halloween season. But the sheriff in those parts says they don't do that kind of thing.
The request comes eight weeks after the attempted mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival that claimed three lives, not including that of the 19-year-old gunman. As an organizer of the pumpkin festival at Uesugi Farms tells NBC Bay Area, "We reached out to the Santa Clara County sheriff multiple times, and they’re not willing to work with us. And I don’t understand why. It's disheartening to me because... I’m trying to protect their constituents, their community."
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith tells the station that it's simply against policy to let deputies do paid gigs "in uniform," and that's not really how this works.
The organizer crowing to NBC Bay Area did not wish to be identified, but obviously tensions remain high in the region when it comes to festivals with large weekend draws.
A rep for the Gilroy Police Department, whom the organizer apparently also reached out to, said they don't have the staff to cover events outside their city. (Uesugi Farms is in San Martin, in unincorporated Santa Clara County, just south of Gilroy's city limits).
One local resident tells the station she feels "unsafe," and doesn't like going out anymore, so she'd prefer if the deputies were there.
But even with police onsite at the Garlic Festival in July, a shooter still made it onto the grounds and did a lot of damage...