Nine Santa Maria police officers disciplined

March 8, 2013
Albert Covarrubias

Albert Covarrubias

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin fired two top managers and reprimanded seven officers Thursday in connection with the shooting death of officer Alberto Covarrubias, Jr. [KSBY]

In Jan. 2012, police had discovered that Albert Covarrubias, Jr., 29, knew he was going to be arrested for sexual misconduct with a child and intimidation of a witness. Officers then attempted to arrest Covarrubias at a DUI checkpoint on Broadway.

Covarrubias shot at two supervisors before his best friend, Officer Matt Kline, fatally shot him. Santa Barbara County District Attorney determined the shooting was legally justified.

On Thursday, Martin took disciplinary actions after reviewing an internal affairs investigation that included 1700 pages of reports and more than 100 recorded interviews.

Chief Martin told KSBY the officers have ten days to appeal his action.



Wow, I am a big critic of cops covering for other cops but some of the comments here are just unreal. It seems that Covarrubias was a cop with serious problems and that the SMPD tried to do the right thing and put a stop to it. They bungled the attempt but it seems that they were at least trying and sometimes things just go wrong.

I don’t know all the details of the subsequent investigation but I am not going to condemn THIS PD for trying to do right whether in the original action or in the disciplinary followup without some evidence.

The Gimlet Eye

But the department won’t disclose who the officers are. Santa Marians pay their salaries, but they don’t have a right to know who the bad guys are?


I am glad to see this Chief straighten clean out the clowns and good old boys hiding inside the uniform