Thursday, February 16, 2012

Santa Maria police union takes 'vote of no confidence' against chief, chief fires back against critics who say he should resign ! I wish our local police Officers were this Brave and oust Cam Sanchez from his current position as police Chief!


Subject: Santa Maria police union takes 'vote of no confidence' against chief, chief fires back against critics who say he should resign !
News the Santa Maria Police Officer's Association is currently taking a 'vote of no' confidence in Police Chief Danny Macagni.This comes on the heels of two officer involved shooting that has some in the community, including past and current police officers, calling for his resignation.

Here are the facts first:
on December 8, two officers were hit by friendly fire as they tried to take down an armed gang member
then on January 28, Officer Albert Covarrubias, Jr. who was under investigation for sexual misconduct was shot and killed by one of his own Critics of Chief Macagni, including former sergeants and lieutenants, are calling for his resignation.They said his lack of leadership is harmful, and now, contributed to a death on the force.An internal memo leaked to KSBY News shows even some S.W.A.T. members fear for their safety.The chief is firing back.Retired Santa Maria Police Sergeant Greg Carroll said he left the department because of Chief Macagni..The same reason, in large part, Lieutenant Paul Bonaventure and Sergeant Scott Vales left the force. More former police supervisors did too, but wanted to remain unidentified in fear of retaliation."Chief Macagni wanted people around him who were loyal to him and not the organization," said Carroll.They all say the promotional process was skewed, with officers making it up the ranks fast, too fast."People went from police officer or corporal to lieutenant in a matter of two to three years people put in as commanders who had four years," said Carroll.They said, that kind of inexperience leads to situations being mishandled, such as the shooting death of Officer Covarrubias.

The chief said in a recorded conversation with the alleged 17-year-old victim the day of the shooting, Covarrubias admitted to the relationship and threatened to kill himself and harm her.He said there was no other choice, but to take immediate action.Sgt. Carroll, a 20-year veteran with the department who retired as head of the S.W.A.T. and narcotics teams, said there had to be another way and that if Covarrubias was suicidal and potentially homicidal why were only two sergeants sent to get him? "You could sit back and come up with 10 different scenarios to prevent the situation," said Carroll. Another scenario: in December, two swat team officers were shot by friendly fire as they tried to take down an armed gang member.
An internal memo from last June, shows concerns made by a former member of the Santa Maria S.W.A.T.
It states a total of four veteran swat members, including the team leader, resigned from the team in fear of the direction the team is headed and in fear of their safety.The officer cites dangerous tactical approaches and an autocratic style of leadership that "could cause someone to get seriously hurt." Six months later, the two S.W.A.T. officers were shot and seriously injured. The gang member was shot and killed.

"The chief is a big believer in bust down the door and go get them, that's not tactically sound," said Carroll."You want to know what my response to all that is? The response to my past employees coming in here and making all these allegations and everything else. You want to know what I have to say about that? You want to know what I have to say? I'll pray for them," said Chief Macagni who did not hold back and addressed every issue. He said the S.W.A.T. gets basic training, no more, no less because of budget cuts.
"We will continue to review our practices and if we're deficient in some areas we'll shore it up and we'll make sure that our people do things safely," said Chief Macagni.He called the claims about the promotional process, baseless.Although in 2010, the city settled a lawsuit with Carroll subsequently leading to a more open process, the chief said promotions have always been based on qualifications and that Carroll was never promoted past sergeant because of low test scores."Sometimes people get upset at me for their own shortcomings, but you know bottom line is we try to select the best people for the job based on the criteria that we review," said Macagni.As for the Covarrubias case, while investigators did not clear it with the chief to go in and make the arrest when they did, he said he stands by their decision 100-percent. "I don't think in our wildest dreams did we think he was going to react the way that he did."

The reaction from the community on both sides has been strong. The chief said he can handle the criticism that comes along with this type of incident, but the real challenge is the toll its taken on his department. "Having to deal with the emotional issues of my people and seeing it in their eyes has been tough." One thing they do agree on: this police department is divided.F.B.I. counselors have been brought in to deal with the raw emotions this shooting has had on officers before it escalates to physical violence. Meantime, an independent review board is also investigating the department's policies.We are told the results of the police union's "vote of no confidence" against the chief should be available in ten days.As is the case of any city department head, it is up to the city manager to decide if the chief will stay or go.

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!


adrienne b said...

Ok. So I am trying to help my innocent boyfriend caught up in the craziness in Santa Maria. I am in Texas and without consulting any media figured out you have corrupt police, horrible public defenders, and DA's that pad charges just on working the Maroc Canaca case. Can you email me?

Magic said...

My name is Larry Mendoza and you may contact me @ or @

Or you can Google Larry Mendoza Santa Barbara and I will try to help if I can.