Embattled Santa Barbara chief announces retirement

October 22, 2015
Chief Sanchez

Cam Sanchez

Shortly after a serious car accident on Highway 101 that led to allegations of abuse of his position, Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez has announced he will retire.

A city of Santa Barbara news release quoted Sanchez as citing the crash as factoring into his decision to retire. The crash sparked controversy because it raised questions about Sanchez’s use of public resources.

On the morning of Oct. 2, Sanchez was driving a city-owned SUV to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up his daughter. Sanchez’s wife and son-in-law were also in the vehicle.

Just after 6 a.m., a large wheel, suspected to have come from a semi-truck, flew through the windshield of the SUV. TSanchez suffered a concussion, his son-in-law had serious injuries and his wife was non-responsive immediately following the crash.

After the crash, the Santa Barbara Police Department sent an on-duty officer to pick up Sanchez’s daughter from LAX and bring her to Cottage Hospital.

Critics have questioned the chief’s use of public resources. Sanchez said critics were being insensitive to the situation.

Sanchez spent 15 years with city of Santa Barbara and 34 years in law enforcement, according to the news release. He previously served as police chief for the cities of San Rafael and Hollister.

“My recent accident shed a big light on how short and precious life is and I want to enjoy it to the fullest, Sanchez said.” “I look forward to spending more time with my wife Olivia who has been my rock and support throughout my entire career.”

Sanchez will retire in February 2016.



  1. TaxMeAgain says:

    Fire him and cut his pension. I hate dirty cops.

    (9) 23 Total Votes - 16 up - 7 down
  2. r0y says:

    #1) Was Chief Sanchez allowed use of the SUV for personal use, per his contract, in the job description, etc.

    #2) Was the off-duty officer that picked up his daughter from LAX on the clock, or otherwise reimbursed from city / department funds (i.e. public resources)? Did said officer use their own, personal vehicle?

    We do not know these, and answering them will immediately resolve whether there was a misuse of public resources.

    That all said, his “retirement” sounds like he knows he’s guilty and will scam the system for a hefty retirement check every month… I’m so glad we pay this caliber of “worker” so well.

    (15) 15 Total Votes - 15 up - 0 down
  3. JB Bronson says:

    How about a new law, or perhaps, enforcement of existing law, where stealing from the taxpaper is a crime punishable by jail time and restitution?

    Then cases like this, Steve Adams, Kivley in Los Osos, Michael Blank with CRLA, etc etc etc etc, won’t simply end up in a fat retirement.

    (21) 25 Total Votes - 23 up - 2 down
  4. justbeware says:

    It seems as though these guys always thank their wives and want to spend more time with their families AFTER they get caught red-handed.
    Steve Adams used the reason on his way out the city hall door in Arroyo Grande. At least this weasel will save his city the cost of an investigation and a big severance package.

    (31) 35 Total Votes - 33 up - 2 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Maybe they will save on the investigation but the severance package is likely still in place plus do not forget the pension, likely as much if not more than his current salary. The plus may be that since this accident spend up his “retirement” he didn’t have time to pad his salary before this announcement, like chief Copsey did in Grover Beach. Plus this accident may prevent him from double dipping, but I doubt it.

      (21) 23 Total Votes - 22 up - 1 down
  5. Rich in MB says:

    When will the Tax Payers wake up….

    Most of these public officials, YES MOST, are abusing the tax payers….why am I paying for Gas and a Car so he can drive it to LAX to pick up his family?


    Because these hacks all think they deserve it….

    Well what about the tax payers busting their ass to pay for is? NA….no one in Government gives a rats ass about them…it’s all about what they can suck out of the system.

    (28) 32 Total Votes - 30 up - 2 down

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