SB Police Association Backs Beutel
updated: Oct 12, 2012, 4:45 PM
Source: Santa Barbara Police Officers Association
Over the past year, the Santa Barbara News-Press has published a series of articles written by
Peter Lance, a criminal defendant in a Driving Under the Influence case. The articles attacked
the SBPD officer who arrested him, Kasi Beutel, personally and professionally. Mr. Lance
made allegations about the legality of the traffic stop and the validity of his breath test. He
accused Officer Beutel of forging his signature and attempted to "investigate" her personal life
by questioning her friends and family about her activities. His behavior seems both obsessive
and paranoid, and goes beyond the usual antics of DUI defendants seeking to avoid conviction.
Alleging officer incompetence, equipment malfunction or simply refusing to take responsibility
are all typical evasive actions taken by DUI defendants. Mr. Lance exceeded this; his personal
attacks on Officer Beutel and her husband were (and still are) distasteful and wildly inaccurate.
The Santa Barbara Police Officers Association has, out of an abundance of caution and
respect for the criminal justice process, not commented on Lance's behavior while his trial
was underway. Though that time period was stressful and upsetting for Officer Beutel, who
was relentlessly being attacked at a level that no professional should have to endure, fellow
officers were only able to privately express their support for her, and their disappointment at the
standards of "journalism" demonstrated by the News-Press. Many urged the SBPOA leadership
to aggressively and publicly support Officer Beutel, but we felt it inappropriate to add fuel to the
fire and did not want to be accused of attempting to interfere with the criminal case.
Now the News-Press has elected to revisit this issue, and has begun publishing yet another series
of unjustified, irrelevant and inaccurate attack pieces against Kasi Beutel. Though we believe
in and support the freedom of the press, with such freedom comes a great responsibility. The
SBPOA is greatly disappointed that the News-Press continues to engage in sub-par journalistic
practices and allows Mr. Lance, who has clearly demonstrated a personal vendetta against
Officer Beutel, to once again co-opt the front page of their paper.
We also would like to take this opportunity to state our unwavering support of Officer Beutel,
who is one of the most decorated and successful DUI officers in the history of the Santa
Barbara Police Department, with over 600 arrests in 2 years as a DDT Officer, SBPD Officer
of the Year for 2010 and who was the recipient of the 2009 and 2010 Mothers Against Drunk
Driving (MADD) Awards. Kasi is a respected member of this department, passed an extensive
background investigation prior to becoming a police officer, and demonstrated a high level of
competence and dedication throughout her DUI enforcement assignment. Peter Lance's one-
sided and spiteful vilification of an excellent Police Officer, mother, and wife, who works
diligently to provide this community with dedicated police service, is a travesty of journalism.
We rebuke Peter Lance and the Santa Barbara News-Press for these writings which are clearly
intended to incite unjustified animus towards both Officer Beutel and all Santa Barbara Police
Officers who serve your community.
72 comments on this article. Read/Add
# # # #