On Tuesday, Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse will trade in his badge and gun for a stack of travel brochures.
The Santa Clarita resident has spent several decades working in law enforcement, including more than 11 years leading the Burbank Police Department. Over time, LaChasse said, he’s collected plenty of Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines, filling his mind with images of travel destinations he’s wanted to visit but never had the time.
After his retirement next week, he will. His role will be filled by current Deputy Chief Michael Albanese until City Manager Justin Hess selects a long-term replacement.
A Burbank police officer shot a man this week while responding to a report that a young boy was wandering around a hotel parking lot unsupervised, the department said. The man later died from the gunshot at a trauma center.
The BPD received a notice on Monday at about 4:45 a.m. that an 8-year-old boy was in the Quality Inn parking lot. After officers found the child, they then met the man determined to be his stepfather, whom police identified as David William Kahler of Las Vegas, Nevada, who was sitting inside a vehicle.
The boy allegedly witnessed the shooting, Heather Kahler, David’s wife and the boy’s mother, told the Burbank Leader. Continue reading “Wife Says She’s ‘Angry’ After Officer Kills Husband”
While protesters marched through the streets of Burbank this week with cries of “Defund the police” and “This is what democracy looks like,” the City Council heard from residents concerned about their local Police Department.
The virtual council meeting took place as protesters assembled in front of the Men’s Wearhouse at the Empire Center, one of several demonstrations that have arisen in Burbank while hundreds have been held across the country to demand police reform and justice for black people killed by officers.
Those demands were echoed at the council meeting, with residents requesting that members review the Burbank Police Department’s budget and use-of-force policies.
However, those matters, which were brought up after a brief report from Chief Scott LaChasse, were not addressed by council members during Tuesday’s meeting.
“It is important for us to be clear and specific right now, because we are at a pivotal moment in history,” said Heather Robb, who called in from the protest to comment at the meeting. “I hope this moment does for Burbank what we see it doing in cities all over our country, causing us to examine and reflect on the role that police play in our communities.”
Robb also asked the council to revisit the department’s budget, saying that the percentage of funds allocated to it does not reflect the community’s values. The department’s $61.76 million general fund budget is about 31% of the city’s total proposed general fund budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, though city staff members have previously warned that there remain many financial unknowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sgt. Derek Green, public information officer for the BPD, said in an emailed statement that “the Burbank Police Department believes that adequate training and equipping of police officers is essential to public safety and safeguarding our community. Training and equipment comes at an expense. Any reductions in funding would have a detrimental effect on the Department’s ability to continue on its path of progressive law enforcement reform.” Continue reading “Police, City Council Address Oversight Concerns”