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Santa Maria Police Chief talks about his first year in the new role

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 14, 2022

Last year we sat down with Santa Maria Police Chief Marc Schneider to discuss some of the goals he had as he entered his new role. On Monday, KSBY caught up with him to check on his progress.

“We actually accomplished quite a bit," said Schneider.

Over the last year, Chief Schneider says he has been able to add some key roles to the police department including a crime analyst, outreach coordinator for community engagement, and an officer teamed up with a mental health clinician.

When asked about the recent shootings across the city he said these are difficult cases if eyewitnesses don’t come forward with information. That’s where the crime analyst will play a big role.

“So what that person will be able to evaluate patterns and trends in crime, and then we can take that data and better guide our resources to addressing the crime that are going on at that particular time," said Schneider.

He says one part of the job for the crime analyst is connecting evidence to other shootings.

“When we seize a gun from somebody on the street, we can actually tie that weapon to two or three other shootings that way you start developing that information," he said.

One issue that has been affecting the department is staffing, Chief Schneider says hiring more female officers has been harder to do but it’s a goal he wants to keep working toward.

“That particular goal is difficult because recruiting, in general, is difficult in law enforcement and throughout the country," he said.

Chief Schneider says in July, he’ll be proposing a budget for body cams. If approved, officers could potentially start using them at the end of this year.