The Santa Barbara Fire and Police Commission today will receive a police overview of the citizen complaint process and a fire department update on the county’s process for seeking proposals to provide ambulance transport services.
Commission members, meeting for only the second time, will first nominate and appoint a chair and vice chair who will serve a one-year term to expire on Jan. 25, 2024.
“The chair will be responsible for managing public meetings, reviewing and approving the monthly staff agendas, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the commission on all matters in advising the City Council and the City Administrator’s Office,” staff said.
Commission members are Linda Dozer, Dan Herlinger, Gary Hill, Lizzie Rodriguez and Ana Zepeda. Ms. Rodriguez served as acting chair during the commission’s first meeting last month.
The commission will meet in the Santa Barbara City Council chambers, 735 Anacapa St., starting at 4 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live online and on City TV Channel 18.
Once the chair and vice chair are appointed, Santa Barbara Fire Chief Chris Mailes will provide an update on the Santa Barbara County EMS Agency Ambulance Service Request for Proposals.
Acting Chair Rodriguez last month made a motion to add the county ambulance contract to February’s agenda. There were two bidders, American Medical Response and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The review panel recommended American Medical Response be awarded the contract.
Santa Barbara County Fire officials filed a protest. The protest was heard by the county’s procurement officer, who ruled against the fire department. A further appeal was generated to the procurement resolution committee.
“Every single fire department in the entire county is behind a county fire-run ambulance service so we are still very hopeful,” Chief Mailes said at the time. “But we know that it is up to this committee and ultimately up to the Board of Supervisors.” The contract is estimated between $100 million to 140 million.
“It is well known that the city does prefer a fire department-based ambulance system,” Chief Mailes said.
After hearing about the ambulance service contract process, Police Chief Kelly Gordon and Commander Kasi Corbett will review for commission members the policies and procedures relating to the department’s citizen complaint process.
This will provide background in advance of the Fire and Police Commission receiving quarterly and yearly reports regarding complaints received by the Santa Barbara Police Department at future meetings.
The commission will not be investigating individual complaints or receiving reports on individual complaints.
After that, Police Chief Gordon and Fire Chief Mailes will brief commissioners on current departmental priorities, data trends and statistics, and upcoming significant issues for future agendas.
The City Council approved the landmark ordinance last October creating the new Fire and Police Commission, assigning it additional civilian oversight duties in an effort to increase accountability, oversight, transparency and public trust.
The commission operates in an advisory role to the council and city administrator in all matters relating to efficient and adequate fire and police protection for the city.
Commission members will also consider along with the fire and police chiefs an annual budget and make recommendations to the city council and city administrator.