SLO Police Chief Cantrell nixes radio coverage of police forum

January 29, 2020

Chief Deanna Cantrell

Update: San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell has changed her mind, and will permit KVEC to cover the “PEACE talk” on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

By CCT Staff

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell on Tuesday nixed plans by radio station KVEC to broadcast a San Luis Obispo police department community forum.

Cantrell is scheduled to host a public “PEACE talk” on “use of force” by police officers on Wednesday, January 29 at 6 p.m.  The event, the latest in a series of Police Education and Community Engagement (PEACE) presentations, is scheduled for the Copeland Health Education Pavilion behind French Hospital.

Pepper Daniels, KVEC programming director, announced Cantrell’s decision on-air Tuesday at the beginning of the 6 p.m. hour of “The Dave Congalton Show.”

Daniels reached out to Christine Wallace, the police department’s community outreach coordinator, last Friday to offer live coverage, commercial-free on KVEC, Daniels said. Arrangements were made and the station began promoting the coverage on Monday.

All that changed when Wallace called Daniels Tuesday afternoon.

“We have been disinvited,” Daniels explained to KVEC listeners. “The chief asked us not to show up.”

Daniels said he was “flabbergasted” by Cantrell’s decision. “I said, ‘Do you feel the irony here?’ But with that topic (use of force) being very, very hot right now, they didn’t know what the room was going to be like and they didn’t feel comfortable with us maybe broadcasting everything and anything that could happen there.”

Daniels called the decision to broadcast the community outreach forum a “no brainer.”

“It seemed like the point of these forums is to get the word out to the public,” Daniels said. “By not doing it, it sounds sort of contradictory.”

Former KSBY news anchor Dan Shadwell was Congalton’s scheduled guest for the hour. He was also critical of Cantrell’s decision.

“It’s not a smart move,” Shadwell said on-air. “From a PR standpoint, any time you shut out the media, it looks suspicious. It’s a real public service to broadcast these things.”

Reached for comment Tuesday night, Congalton agreed that the decision was disappointing.

“KVEC is the oldest radio station on the Central Coast,” Congalton said. “We’ve been broadcasting community forums since 1937 and I bet this is the first time we’ve ever been disinvited.”

There are only 120 seats available for the Wednesday night forum. People interested in attending must sign up in advance. For more information, contact the San Luis Obispo police department at 805-781-7186.

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A picture on the KSBY news site showed a bunch of empty chairs at this little fandango, I kinda don’t think people are interested in how the police use force they see enough of that already, they might be more interested in better public interaction.

I’m so glad she got her gun back!

To bad about the collateral damage of that poor family who’s lives she ripped apart:(

Probably why she didn’t want it on the radio, in case any of those uncomfortable questions got asked!!!

Chief Cantrell doesn’t want Dave Cognalton (aka: SLO City Government’s biggest apologist) to attend her “Peace Talk” forum? Wow, now that’s some hardcore paranoia. I mean Dave is like the poster child for our current mid-life crisis pseudo-socialist nut-job Mayor and City Council. If she isn’t even going to be tolerant of his kid-glove approach to “hard-hitting” journalism, why have this forum at all? I didn’t even know about this forum but have already lost all respect for it. If you really want someone there who is the least bit interested in the truth, then invite Andy Caldwell or even Mark Wilson. But if Cantrell is intolerant of Dave Cognalton being there, then this was really just a worthless PR stunt. Stop wasting our time.

I feel the Chief needs to go. City council, please ask for her resignation.

No I don’t work for the police department nor was I happy with the Chief and her lost gun. I do believe that it is unfair that people (especially the cowards who refuse to use their name) think it’s acceptable to make generalizations about the entire police department or even other people.

The PEACE talks were a series of presentations done several years ago. They were very informative but not well attended by many of the residents of the city (much like most community events in SLO).They were also held in the same location.The Use of Force presentation showed an actual incident. Even the local anti-police crowd was impressed with how well this officer handled an extremely dangerous situation. Across the country cities and counties now have a hard time finding new officers. Who would want to work for people who never have anything nice to say. Yes one day you may call 911 and the dispatcher will say, “sorry we do not have an officers available.” I realize that this site is not a representation of the community and that the residents of most communities have great respect for these wonderful men and women who unlike these bloggers put their life in danger to protect total strangers…even the disrespect ones. I urge all of you to attend these presentations in person and you might even learn something. As a former resident I was always a fan of Pepper Daniels (you probably still have my husband’s cowboy boots) and Dave Congalton. I would hope they would not see this an chance to attack local law enforcement but to use it as an opportunity to educate the residents. Thank you to all the wonderful officers of the SLO and Santa Maria PD I miss you all!

Chief Cantrell might be planning on having her Storm Trooper gun finder squad circle the audience and make sure they stay in line.

I’m sure the public outcry against this decision had nothing to do with the chief changing her mind. It was probably just a communications glitch…..

thanks to CalCoast News for providing a forum like this. Chief Cantrell would not have changed her mind—–err…scratch that…..the public outcry would not have manifested were it not for forums like this.

The chief, of course, doesn’t read anything here… doubt it was just a communications snafu. Yeah, for sure.

She should also do a “PIECE talk” on “use of a tp holder” for weapon storage.

Why is this event being held in a small hospital auditorium instead of at city hall, where it belongs, and where there are provisions for overflow crowds? Whole thing seems odd. Like it’s more pretend goodness for show purposes rather than the real deal.

I believe the public is welcome in public buildings.

this is a private venue.