|City Council Chambers or City Council Conference Room next door|
|Event Type: Meeting|
The City Council’s Public Safety Committee [PSC] is charged with overseeing police and fire departments. However, in the last few years, it’s been the means (along with Parks and Rec boss Dannettee Shoemaker) for funneling anti-homeless legislation to the City Council.
Such laws have masqueraded as “public safety” measures in the latest smear of the poor who sleep outside as a pretext to give police more ‘tools” to frighten them out of sight and out of town.
These laws include the “panhandlers–and political activists–stay off the medians in the city” and a series of other concerns prepared by the anti-homeless Public Safety Task Force of 2013.
“HARASS THE HOMELESS” POLICE POWERS BALLOON
The ordinance is MC 10.08.100 at http://www.codepublishing.com/
I critically analyze the law at http://www.indybay.org/
NO HEARING SCHEDULED; NO HEARING EVER HAPPENED
Far from having anything to do with Public Safety, the “Stay-Away” law was used in its earlier weaker form to harass homeless people for non-criminal survival behavior (or behavior that posed no threat to anyone) such as sleeping, being in a park after dark, and smoking.
(See “Stay-Away From Human Rights ! An Activist Examines the Escalating Stay-Away Orders Law” at http://www.indybay.org/
Councilmember Terrazas, PSC Chair, has so far declined to put the Stay-Away on the agenda, even though his committee is charged with examining the impact of the law–but not until September 2015!
Since the law has already been used over 1000 times in its earlier form, refusing to look at clear facts is unacceptable. Pursuing and terrorizing homeless people to make the parks “friendlier” is the likely prospect for many of the City’s 1500-2000 homeless, 90% of whom have no shelter at night.
We encourage people to contact HUFF to help those given Stay-Away’s to challenge them before the City Manager, join protests around the issue, and help track the dimensions of this new attack on the homeless community.
Or call them at 831-420-5020 to urge them to hold public hearings immediately and call for suspension of the law. Until it’s clear that the law addresses real criminal behavior and does not target poor people outside.
HUFF can be reached at 831-423-HUFF (4833).
Friday Feb 27th, 2015 10:38 PM
After several requests and considerable delay, assistant City Attorney Reed Gallogly finally coughed up the recent additions to the SCPD Policy Manual. I previously posted the full manual as of 2011 at http://www.indybay.org/
newsitems/2012/05/19/18713791. php and the new one as of November 2014 is posted below as well as a January 2015 addition, included the day after the City Council meeting where Mayor Lane gave special time to Police Chief Vogel to read his policy.
An updated list of SCPD Officer names and numbers as of November 2013 can be found at http://www.indybay.org/
newsitems/2013/11/01/18745758. php .
Chief Vogel insisted at the January 13th Council meeting that he would not make this policy statement public It was, of course, available on video and audio–especially for those who (“illegally”) recorded it as I and John Malkin did.
Vogel read off his description of the policy at the end of the Oral Communications period pmn 1-13 in the special time allowed by Mayor Lane apparently designed to deflect and calm the concerns of the largely anti-BearCat crowd that tried to speak. Vogel’s apparently created this “policy” without any input from critics or the community generally. It’s been included in the SCPD Policy Manual by Vogel’s fiat. With no dissent so far from anyone on the Council.
Lane, however, did not allow the public to conclude its input nor invite any critics to express their concerns at that meeting.
Nor did he direct Vogel to respond to questions about the supposed “deadline” date which he and Deputy Chief Clark falsely claimed required accepting the Bearcat before the end of 2014. Members of the audience who shouted out these questions were hushed into silence. Decorum, after all, must be preserved.
FITTING INTO THE POLICE BAKER-BUTLER GLORIFICATION AGENDA
Instead of marching to the police station, sitting in at the City Manager’s office, or taking other forceful direct action, SCRAM (Santa Cruz Resistance Against Militarization) deferred any protests, originally scheduled for the February 24th meeting. Food Not Bombs did not provide food at the event–which had previously been scheduled. The purpose of ducking the meeting seemed to be to avoid offending middle class police patrons who were attending a round of SCPD glorification with yet another memorial to former cops Baker and Butler. These two are well-known in the homeless community for their abusive behavior towards the poor.
Meanwhile the struggle for the cash being collecting using the Butler and Baker deaths as fund-raisers is chronicled in the rapidly-shrinking Sentinel at http://www.santacruzsentinel.
BACK TO THE REAL ISSUES
There is however, I’m told, a march against police brutality being scheduled by UCSC students on Wednesday afternoon from the Quarry to the SCPD station against police violence as oart ofthe 96 Hours of Action around tuition hikes and such.
HUFF continues to urge a broader attack on local police abuse, as described at http://www.indybay.org/
For a reminder that I’m not the only one concerned about these issues, see “Police Injury of Homeless Man Still Unresolved” at http://www.indybay.org/
BEARCAT USE POLICY
For some reason I was unable to download the individual page describing the BearCat Policy in the updates I received, so I’ve copied it below:
706.2.7 BearCat Rescue Vehicle
The BearCat rescue vehicle is specialized equipment designed for specific purposes. The vehicle is not intended to be used for routine patrol or day-to-day operations. Only properly trained and certified personnel may operate the BearCat rescue vehicle.
The Santa Cruz Police Department is obligated to make the BearCat rescue vehicle available to other law enforcement agencies upon request. Any request ofr use of the BearCat rescue vehicle requires review and approval from a police manager. In the event the request is approved, the Santa Cruz Police Department will provide our own personnel to safely operate and deploy the vehicle.
Use of the BearCat rescue vehicle is restricted to those situations where the utility and capability of the vehicle are necessary and when the capabilities of other department vehicles are insufficient for those situations as determined by the chief of police or department designee. This includes, but is not limited to public safety emergencies, where life threatening conditions exist, the extraction of persons at risk, the need to insert police, fire, and emergency medical services into a dangerous environment, ballistic or projectile protection, high-risk vehicle stops, high-risk warrant service, active shooters, unsecured crime scenes.
This policy recognizes that it is not possible to catalog or anticipate all situations where the BearCat rescue vehicles capabilities are necessary and/or appropriate. This policy acknowledges that it is not the intent that the BearCat rescue vehicle be used in an offense manner where no threat to the public or first responder personnel exists. such situations would include, but are not limited to parades and peaceful demonstrations where violence is not threatened towards the public, property, or law enforcement personnel.