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Santa Barbara City Council adopts recommendations for police oversight


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara City Council adopted recommendations for Police Department oversight, including the implementation of a new civilian oversight system, at a special meeting on Monday night.

“This is a level of oversight of the Police Department that the city of Santa Barbara has never experienced before in a manner that is proactive, not reactive, and still provides the opportunity to learn and evolve as we continue to receive more input from the community,” said Barbara Andersen, senior assistant to the City Administrator.

The recommendations enhance the oversight duties of the Fire and Police Commission through a draft of a new ordinance, according to city spokeswoman Shelly Cone. Staff will work with former members of the Community Formation Commission and other leaders to draft the ordinance language, enhancing civilian oversight duties of the Fire and Police Commission before it is reviewed by the Ordinance Committee, Cone said.

The approved recommendations also include monitoring responsibilities that will be designated to the City Administrator's Office and approval of a contract with the Office of Independent Review for a strategic analysis of the key functions of the police department.

The council went further than staff's proposed recommendations, and added direction that included obtaining a contract of no less than one year with a monitor professional to help with the creation of the City Administrator's Office's first-time auditor-monitor duties, Cone said.

The council also committed to working collaboratively with key stakeholders to identify what would constitute a third-party investigation of police misconduct.

"Council members acknowledged the incredible work of the Community Formation Commission as well as staff in identifying opportunities to incorporate their recommendations into existing oversight mechanisms and current personnel given the budget constraints that the city is confronting over the next several years," Cone said.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here


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