Embattled Santa Barbara chief announces retirement
October 22, 2015
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.