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Santa Barbara Mayor Calls For Police Chief To Be Regular Part Of City Council Meetings

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:23am

With the Santa Barbara Police department under fire for his handling of two DUI arrests, the city’s mayor is calling for the police chief to become a regular agenda item at City Council meetings.

Mayor Helene Schneider says she thinks Police Chief Cam Sanchez should be on the agenda twice a month, to keep the council updated on pertinent public issues.

The police department has been in the spotlight following a pair of DUI arrest related incidents.

Last year, the arrest of well-known freelance journalist Peter Lance on a DUI charge sparked controversy, after he wrote a series of articles for the Santa Barbara News Press alleging the arrest was handled improperly, and questioned the background of the arresting officer.

Then, last Friday an arrest of a man on a DUI charge in Loreto Plaza raised eyebrows, when some eyewitnesses claimed excessive force was used.

The chief released a statement yesterday saying his review of video of the incident showed it was handled properly, but an attorney for suspect Tony Denunzio is questioning why the tape hasn’t been made public.

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