Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 1:19 pm | A Few Clouds and Breezy 65º


Local News

Schneider Calls for Regular Updates from Police Chief at City Council Meetings

Mayor proposes 'modest steps' to increase transparency at City Hall

In the past several months, a number of items related to public safety have come to the forefront of the public debate.

Much of the discussion has stemmed from various media stories, public testimony, court proceedings or statements made from candidates during numerous City Council forums. What’s been missing is a chance for the full City Council to hear a report from Police Chief Cam Sanchez at a regularly scheduled public City Council hearing about the Police Department.

Particularly in the past month, I have received a number of comments from residents asking about the Peter Lance/Kasi Buetel court proceedings and the recent arrest of Tony Denunzio. While it would be legally inappropriate for me to comment on any ongoing investigation, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to contact me about their concerns regarding these matters. Please be assured that these matters are being reviewed in detail.

As a matter of good public policy, I propose that twice each month the City Council meetings include an agenda item for the police chief to give an update on the department’s status. The chief’s report should be about five minutes in length and can include any aspect of the department’s work he so chooses, such as crime reports, updates on the Police Activities League and officer recruitment updates, to name a few.

As with any council agenda item, public comment is welcome and the City Council can discuss the items and followup with questions to the chief.

I hope these modest steps to increase transparency at City Hall will be embraced by my colleagues.

— Helene Schneider is mayor of Santa Barbara.

  • 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.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >