Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara Sheriff Department’
News stories about sheriffs deputies having allegedly abused inmates are nothing new.
In recent years, most have come out of Los Angeles leading many to question whether the California jail system is broken.
This time, however, the allegations have originated from a detention center a few counties to the north.
Santa Barbara County Jail Guards Charged With Assault
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that they have recently charged two deputies in the assault of an inmate.
A public defender tipped the department off about the attack approximately 24 hours after it took place. A complaint was then filed with the District Attorney.
That office began to collect evidence and conduct interviews and eventually decided to file a case.
Defendants Robert Kirsch and Christopher Johnson have been charged with assault by public officers. If they are convicted, the pair could spend up to three years in the Santa Barbara County Jail. They were not Read more »
An officer at the Santa Maria Police Department was fatally shot earlier this week when he was about to be arrested on charges. The officer, Albert Covarrubias Jr., was reportedly at the close of his shift at a DUI checkpoint when several colleagues arrived to arrest him. A brief struggle ensued during which the suspect fired his gun. Another officer on the scene fired back, fatally wounding the suspect.
The LA Times reported the four-year veteran of the department was survived by his wife, father and sister.
It is believed the officer knew he was being investigated for allegedly having a relationship with a 17-year old girl. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department further Read more »
Sheriff Bill Brown of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department notified the Police Chiefs of Santa Maria and Guadalupe, as well as the local CHP commander, of the decision to close the North County Jail and Substation at the end of June.
The North County Jail houses up to 20 inmates that have been booked and held for various crimes in the Santa Maria Valley area. With Santa Barbara County facing severe budget cuts, Sheriff Brown made the decision to shut down the jail. The shut down of the North County Jail is scheduled to take place on June 27. According to Sheriff Brown, closing the jail and substation will save the county more than a million dollars each year.
On the downside of this decision, the Santa Maria and Guadalupe Police Departments will feel the financial Read more »
With the rapidly rising costs of pensions in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Maria jail and sheriff’s gang unit could be shutting down to help with budget cuts. The county budget for the next fiscal year is attempting to close a $72 million shortfall.
Final approval of the budget is up to Lavagnino and his fellow supervisors. They will try to shift around money to prevent shutting down the jail. If the only jail in Santa Maria is closed, deputies will have to transport the people they arrest to the main jail in Santa Barbara, leaving one less deputy to patrol the streets.
“We’re going to turn our police officers, it looks like, into cab drivers,” said 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino. Closing the jail is estimated to save Read more »
Currently, the Santa Barbara jail being used is 40 percent over it’s recommend capacity level. Luckily, the State of California, through the Assembly Bill 900, has put up $56.3 million, (70 percent) for the county of Santa Barbara to construct a new jail in North County. Due to the recession, cost of construction will be hard to acquire, however, the Santa Barbara County already owns the land where they want to place the jail.
Even with overcrowding issues, other obstacles are still preventing Sheriff Brown from getting his new jail built. A $15 to $17 million annual budget is required for the operation of the jail, and while the state has already issued a generous amount, there is still $23.7 million needed to build the jail itself. In 2000, voters opposed the building of this new jail with a ballot total consisting of a two-to-one measure, under a lower proposed building cost.
This past Tuesday, Sheriff Brown proposed Read more »