Nov. 10--SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- The police chief for an embattled department in Sacramento is now on paid administrative leave, following a move last night to limit traffic stops and reports about emails exclusively obtained by FOX40 showing Twin Rivers officers were encouraged to have a ticket quota.
A spokesman for the Twin Rivers Police Department says Police Chief Christopher Breck was placed on administrative leave sometime Wednesday. The Department would not elaborate on why this action was taken, citing personnel issues.
The Twin Rivers Police Department has faced increased scrutiny in the last month following the shooting of one of their officers, and the subsequent death of the shooting suspect while in the custody of Sacramento Police.
On October 22nd, a Twin Rivers officer pulled over Tyrone Smith. Smith allegedly shot the officer, then took off. After a standoff, Smith was arrested later that night and in a Sacramento Police squad car when he had a medical emergency and died. His cause of death has still not been determined.
The officer who was shot was released from the hospital earlier this week, and is now at home recovering.
Read more about the incident here.
The incident has raised questions about Twin Rivers officers and their department. Old tensions with the community and incidents from their recent past have come to the surface.
A report exclusively on FOX40 last week showed that in March an email was sent out to Twin Rivers officers directing them to write at least four tow tickets a day. The message was sent by a sergeant in the department. Setting ticket quotas for officers is illegal.
About 45 minutes later, the same sergeant recalled the message, and apologized for the misinterpretation. His new email said he wanted officers to be more proactive and threw out the number four as a suggestion.
Read more about FOX40's investigation here.
A shirt made by the Twin Rivers Police Officers' Union years ago with the statement "U raise 'em, we cage 'em" has also made headlines recently. The shirt was pulled from circulation a year ago, but the community is sharing their frustration that a shirt like this was ever made by their officers' union.
Read more about the shirt and resulting controversy here.
Then Wednesday night, the Department released information that they were now directing their officers to limit the number of traffic stops and vehicle tows they initiate.
25 year Sheriff's Department veteran Trang To will take over the department. He says he knows of no federal investigations involving the department, but when asked if there is an internal investigation into Breck or the department he didn't answer directly.
"That I cannot comment on," said To.
He said the department's mission to serve protect students, staff and property remains the same. But he says he wants to work with the community to iron out any misunderstandings.
"If it's broken we're going to repair tat perception, that's my commitment," said To.
Police say Chief Breck's situation is a personnel matter that cannot be discussed and said being on administrative leave doesn't mean anything improper was done. It's not even clear if it involves the recent complaints by community members.
But some community members have more questions about the removal.
"I believe they really are trying to cover up something," said neigh borhood resident Lina Neal.
Others believe revising policy and removing Breck is a step in the right direction, but the proof lies in the behavoir of officers.
"If they're going to take out the bad guy and change a few words in the policy, that's fine, but we should see a difference," said Icealene Cain, a parent in the district.
Meanwhile police have gotten their share of support for fighting crime in the neighborhood.
Copyright 2011 - KTXL-TV, Sacramento, Calif.