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Security Gates for Police Station


Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Members of the public will no longer be able to wander onto the Santa Barbara Police Department parking lot as they have been able to for decades, thanks to a $215,000 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The money will pay for the installation of three metal gates to block public ingress and egress. Department personnel will soon activate the gates via punch code. According to Joe Guzardi, emergency planning specialist with the County of Santa Barbara, federal funding guidelines allow local agencies “to harden critical facilities” at Homeland Security’s expense. The lot is used to park squad cars, departmental vehicles, and the personal vehicles of some staff. “It’s supposed to be a secure space,” said police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood. “Over the years, we’ve had cars tampered with.” In one instance, he said, a police department bicycle was stolen. The thief was never caught, though years later he did send a note of apology. Harwood suggested the note was part of the perpetrator’s 12-step work in which individuals seeking sobriety apologize to those against whom they’ve transgressed.

Since 1999, the County of Santa Barbara has received approximately $8.5 million in Homeland Security Grants. Of that, the Santa Barbara Police Department received a grant of $243,000 to purchase a “Bear Cat” armored vehicle typically used by SWAT teams when plowing into fortified bunkers used by drug dealers. In addition, Homeland Security purchased a set of closed-circuit TV cameras for the city’s Waterfront Department to better monitor activities in the harbor. The most expensive purchases went to equip county helicopters with high-definition cameras, build a signal-relay station on Santa Ynez Peak, and then stock the Emergency Operations Center with the necessary equipment. The cameras can be used for drug emergency-search operations, drug surveillance, and forest-fire scouting work.

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Damn! It was a right-of-passage to speed through the parking lot. Double points if you could peel out and burn rubber!

passagerider (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 2:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess Chris Dorner has them shaking in their boots. Haven't they heard? Or might they be turning out more? If that doesn't explain it, then it must be because of all the Taliban hanging around State Street, panhandling. Maybe the cops better lock the gates and stay inside, but they'll never get their bike back that way. No problem, because they're riding tricycles now.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 9:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What a huge waste of money. What the heck are Fed dollars going to stuff like this? No wonder we're beyond broke. This kind of paranoid giveaways have bankrupted us while moving us closer and closer to a fascist police state.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We should have listened to Ron Paul.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More Pigs at the Homeland security trough! It's a form of stealing,,,

oldtimer (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 3:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why not use that money to improve neighborhood patrols on the Westside?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 3:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The SB Police Station already looks like a concentration camp - ever walked into the lobby. In all seriousness, I think the police have been reading too much about their "life on the line" (not so much in SB) profession and are becoming scary in their behavior.

I'm with you, K_V, there are better uses for the money.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 4:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You need hardened facilities only if you are in a state of war or constant attack or feel threatened. While a defensive bunker seems safer, reducing a threat means you need to forward and work with the people.

I like Vancouver's approach which has reduced crime; i.e. a focus on giving tickets to kids for good behavior or deeds. Things like a pass to a movie or the pool.

passagerider (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 5:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not least, a better use of money would be to increase the staff of the Animal Control division that is part of the SBPD. It's closed on weekends and barely active (and often surly) the rest of the time. It's a disgrace for a city the size of this one to have such lack of interest.

But watch the police jump with enthusiasm if they can get more locked gates and places to retreat from the public!

at_large (anonymous profile)
February 14, 2013 at 7:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey everyone! You wanna buy Government equipment? Try these Government Websites selling old, used or confiscated property for folks just like us:
http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/gs...
or
http://www.govdeals.com/
Hey SBPD and SBSO, check-out cheaper deals to incorperate in your Department!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 6:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is really bad.

The Federal Government is worse than the mob, you don't get anything for free from them, trust me.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

wasn't the dept. of homeland security created in 2002? in response to 9/11?

how could funds be coming in since 1999?

oh that's right. gov't has been planning for a new police state for some time.

local_sb (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 9:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The entire concept of "free" money from the Feds or the State is certainly a flawed concept.

Yet our "leaders" perpetuate this system which entails taking the money from us (by threat of force through taxes), taking their cut to fund the bureaucracy that runs the various grant programs and then passing the remainder out to various locations around the state or country in the form of "free" grants.

It certainly is ingrained in how our country operates these days. A sad situation.

art (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 10:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wonder if that stolen police bike was registered?

Analog8 (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't understand why they don't just lock up their bicycles.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Didn't they recently have an embezzler in their dept.? And didn't they just nab a clerk at the jail for theft? And didn't the LAPD just shoot at least three innocent people who looked nothing like their suspect, himself a former cop wanted for three killings? And it's us they're afraid of?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the Indy's numbers are correct, the grants equate to about $2 per person per year. I agree the DHS is a political trough but this grant doesn't bother me near as much as the "Bear Cat" does. The militarization of our police nationwide is a real concern.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
February 15, 2013 at 7:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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