Have your say on Santa Barbara’s draft ordinance for civilian police oversight | Local News

Posted on August 24, 2022
| 9:41 a.m.

The City of Santa Barbara is seeking comments on a draft ordinance that will guide its efforts in implementing a new police department civilian oversight system. The ordinance is a step towards strengthening accountability and transparency.

A historic effort, this is the city’s first collaboration with the community on police oversight.

“The city strives to be transparent and accountable in its operations, and community input is essential to making these efforts successful,” said Barbara Andersen, senior assistant to the city administrator. “It is extremely important that we hear from you at this stage of the process and throughout the implementation of the new civilian oversight system. »

To view the draft ordinance, go to SantaBarbaraCA.gov/CommunityOversight.

The draft ordinance elevates and assigns new police oversight duties to the five-member longtime Fire and Police Commission.

Among its new functions, the commission will receive reports containing data on the number and type of internal and external complaints received and subsequent actions taken, including the number of officers disciplined and the level of discipline imposed.

The commission will review and discuss with the chief of police, in open session, individual investigations when they become disclosable under the California Public Records Act.

Additionally, the commission will receive submissions from the police chief regarding any shootings involving an officer once findings are determined by the agency conducting such an investigation.

The draft order also prioritizes community participation and engagement as a key part of building understanding of what law enforcement faces on a daily basis to keep residents safe. and visitors in the city of Santa Barbara.

This includes rigorous training for commissioners, as well as more opportunities for community feedback and education on policing practices in Santa Barbara.

In addition to soliciting public comment, over the next few weeks city staff will be engaging with various community members and organizations to gather feedback on the draft.

The city invites all ideas, questions and concerns to be shared during this time. Public comments can be directed to [email protected] The deadline for public comments to be presented to the Ordinance Committee is September 20.

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