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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Just don’t let her go to the bathroom during the forum, she might forget something.

Ah, so good to be right. Chief bows to growing public arousal due to another of her stupid public decisions.

George Garrigues: Look at paragraph seven in the story. You have the chief’s explanation. Controversial topic. Uncertain about who might show up. Low confidence about being able to control the room. If things go south, they don’t want it broadcast to the community.

What are you missing?

Thank you Dave. You have covered the public’s concerns about police misconduct, transparency and justice. And now you will provide those who cannot attend the ability to listen to the forum.

“Low confidence about being able to control the room.”

They are the police. They surely can control a room.

George Garrigues: You ask “what kind of public servant would lock out the public?” I searched in vain for the hint of irony… found none. The simple answer, and pardon my cynicism, is that many public servants participate in “locking” public information.

And to Chief Cantrell: Are you aware in this day and age that surreptitious recording devices exist, and can be purchased online for ten bucks or so?

Com’n, Chief. Get a clue.

Someone PLEASE ask her why she won’t release the video of Officer Josh Walsh shooting the dog. She admits video exists but won’t release it.

Cantrell’s words don’t match her actions when she claims to hold Officers accountable.

Surely this is the time for all the good cops…. who love the community and want to inform us of what’s going on with regard to the rules of how much force they can use on us without legal problems…..surely the many good cops will now speak out against this and demand that public safety include the public.


Any minute now, the good cops are going to speak up…..

We don’t have the chief’s reasoning in this story nor any indication that she was asked for it, but this sounds really weird. What kind of public servant would lock out the public?

There’s more to this story than is offered here.

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.

Definition of terms and copspeak used in the article:

Public Policy=what can be done to the public via force

Public Talk=Private Talk

Police Education=hidden agenda. (hidden from the public)

Community Engagement=community not invited

Use of Force=how hard can they hit us, when can they shoot us or our pets without getting into trouble.

Community Outreach Coordinator=person responsible for shutting the community out of decisions that effect them.

120 seats available, sign up in advance=only cops and their families can attend. Public opinion neither welcome or needed.

If the public (serfs is a better term) was to express indignation, outrage, dislike or disagreement with public policy, and such behavior by serfs was broadcasted so that other serfs might get the “wrong idea,” such a situation might be embarrassing to the police department.

Our masters have no need of our consent, approval or opinions. They certainly don’t have any need or tolerance for our disapproval! How can they rule over us with a monopoly on force if people are informed?

Public Policy is something done to the public without their consent. Why broadcast it? It’s best if serfs feel alone and weak.

There are no good cops anymore. If there were, they’d speak up.

watch everyone who works for the city and police department down-vote my post above……

Chief Cantrell do us all a favor and resign but we know you won’t leave until you have secured you full plus lifetime pension, and luckily for you Mayor Harmon, council and city manager are all aboard with you on this.

Not surprising, considering Cantrell’s serious lack of judgement.