02/03/2012

Former Santa Maria cop talks about shooting

Willows Police Chief Bill Spears 'doesn't believe he would have handled the arrest in that manner'

By Greg Welter
Chico Enterprise-Record

WILLOWS, Calif. — Willows Police Chief Bill Spears was a senior-ranking sergeant with the Santa Maria Police Department when he left in 2006, over concerns about low morale and differences he had with the chief.

Early on Sunday morning Spears learned that a Santa Maria officer he once commanded was forced to shoot and kill a fellow officer a former Police Explorer scout Spears had once mentored. The tragedy played out at a busy Santa Maria intersection during a DUI checkpoint.

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