October 17, 2016

Statements from Police Chief and Mayor regarding the police officer-involved shooting incident on 10/16/16

Statement from Police Chief Kevin Vogel Regarding Police-involved Shooting
I want to acknowledge the thoughts expressed by the Santa Cruz community in light of the tragic shooting involving our Police Officers in the early morning hours of October 16th. An event like this impacts a community leaving questions, concerns and emotional scars.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is committed to transparency and independence in the investigation of this tragic shooting. Santa Cruz Police management met with the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office and immediately invoked the countywide Critical Incident Protocol. This process was put in place years ago by the law enforcement leaders in this county to address such circumstances. The Santa Cruz Police Department requested the District Attorney’s Office take the lead role in the investigation to ensure a transparent, thorough and independent review. At the conclusion of the investigation, the District Attorney will issue a finding.

In addition to the District Attorney’s investigation, the police department will conduct an administrative investigation. This investigation will examine if the officers acted within the department’s use of force policy. This investigation will be subject to oversight by the City’s Independent Police Auditor and ultimately the City Council’s Public Safety Sub-committee who
will report back to Council.

The Police Department is communicating with the suspect’s family and offered them support through our full time Victim Advocate. We are committed to supporting and communicating with the family throughout this investigation.

We also recognize that our officers are affected by their involvement in this tragic situation. We are taking measures to reach out and care for our staff. All of the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave to allow us the opportunity to conduct the investigation and care for their needs before they return to duty protecting our City.

As more details of the event become available, we will release information to keep the public informed.
-- Police Chief Kevin Vogel

Statement from Mayor Cynthia Mathews Regarding Police‐involved Shooting
By now, most of our community has learned about the officer‐involved shooting that took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 16th. Several of our Police Officers responded to a very dangerous situation that ultimately resulted in the use of lethal force. This is a very rare
occurrence in our City and we are treating it seriously, with particular attention to the handling of the investigation.

Above all, I, along with the entire City Council, mourn the loss of a Santa Cruz community member and recognize the greater impact of this event on all of us. Regardless of the circumstances or if we personally knew or did not know the individual, it is tragedy to lose a
fellow community member.

The investigation into the exact events that led to this outcome will be the work of the next several days and weeks. We are grateful that the District Attorney was willing to take the lead on an independent and objective investigation, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office. Our
officers are lending every possible resource to this work and we thank the Police Department for its suggestion of outside agency support for the investigation. Finally, we want to recognize the toll that this incident has taken on all members of the Police Department.

As the investigation proceeds, more information will be provided to the public. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we balance providing up‐to‐the‐minute information to the community with protecting the integrity of the investigation. -- Mayor Cynthia Mathews