The new contract raises the base salary for officers and sergeants by 5.6 percent to 10.6 percent, depending on seniority and work schedule. Supporters say it’s needed to keep compensation competitive, while opponents say Santa Ana can’t afford the increase.
New concerns are being raised about whether the city has been illegally overcharging residents and businesses for trash collection and using the money for other services like police, firefighting, and parks.
Santa Ana’s acting police chief was suddenly switched Tuesday for the second time in as many months. Officials said the change was completely unrelated to the possible hiring of a former CHP officer who made national headlines when video showed him repeatedly punching a woman in the face who was on the ground along the 10 freeway in Los Angeles.
Officials still are drafting rules for when the cameras must be turned on, what the repercussions are for not using the cameras and whether any videos will be made public. The City Council also is considering increased oversight of the police department, including possibly creating a civilian review panel.
Shootings in the city have tripled and homicides have doubled in recent years. City leaders are starting a community-wide conversation about how to address the issue, as they emphasize the need for everyone to work together.
Most of the City Council supports a discussion about new oversight, including the possible creation of a civilian review panel that would examine police use-of-force incidents. The city paid more than $8 million last year to settle police shooting lawsuits.
Santa Ana City Council members Tuesday voted 4-3 to appeal in Orange County Superior Court a decision by the city’s personnel board to reinstate officer Brandon Sontag, who was fired after allegedly committing crimes during a 2015 raid of a pot shop.
Hopes that Santa Ana would give voters a chance to transform the city’s electoral systems were dealt a blow this week when the City Council voted down a proposal. But activists signaled that they would take up the cause.