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Grand Jury Report Defends Santa Maria Police Department’s Impound Policies

Grand jury launched investigation after receiving complaints that towing had become 'unfair and a windfall for the city'

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

A Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report issued Thursday found that the Santa Maria Police Department’s towing practices were appropriate, despite the controversy the department has attracted for its level of impounds.

Scroll down to view a full copy of the report.

The grand jury received complaints from the Santa Maria community “claiming that the towing had become unfair and a windfall for the city,” according to a statement issued by the grand jury.

That prompted the jury to examine randomly selected citations as a result of DUI checkpoints, driving with a revoked, suspended or no license, and illegal parking.

“After reviewing the actual cases, the jury found that the Santa Maria Police Department has well-established policies that are closely managed by the department to keep costs as low as possible and procedures consistent,” the statement said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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» on 03.09.12 @ 11:13 AM

Of course the SMPD was within the parameters of the law.  The “citizen” complaints were orchestrated by PUEBLO and other racially motivated bigots.  The only issue I’ve had, from a citizen’s perspective, is that SMPD has historically given citations to foreign nationals that cannot be positively identified.  Whereas if someone that seems to be a citizen cannot present validated identification at the scene of a stop and no computer match is found; that person goes to jail.  That presents obvious public safety concerns, but is a victory for racially biased groups like PUEBLO, who want racial preferences performed rather than blind; objective justice.  I am so grateful for the transparency of this finding performed by the Grand Jury.  America cannot afford to bend and break to bigots like PUEBLO, La Raza and other groups that don’t give a damn about equality, fairness or harmony.

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