Wednesday, September 20 , 2017, 2:28 pm | Partly Cloudy 74º


Local News

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'

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.


  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >