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LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

Request for Info on SCPD Community Service Officer Pam Bachtel

CSO Pam Bachtel has been harasssment ticketing downtown. Copwatch and HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) activists are looking to document her recent activities.
I'm currently getting together a public information flyer on Community Service Officer Pam Bachtel who has a well-deserved reputation for sloppy and arbitrary enforcement of the already-bad Downtown Ordinances. I've posted the following at Has anyone got any info on Bachtel? I attach a copy of the posting and some comments resulting from the copwatch website.

Also, note for information that audio recording of Bathrobespierre's Broadsides, my twice-weekly radio show on 101.1 FM can be downloaded and/or listened to at
I often play interviews with folks who give accounts of police misconduct there. More dated information is posted at

Robert Norse


Heard of any problems with SC CSO Pam Bachtel?
by Robert Norse

Email: rnorse3 (nospam) (verified)
Phone: 831-423-4833
Address: 309 Cedar PMB #14B 02 Aug 2004

Please report time, place, person, and other particulars--or even more general complaints about CSO Pam Bactel downtown on Pacific Avenue.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) continues to receive reports of zealous harassment ticketing by Pam Bachtel, a chunky blonde female CSO who works the downtown SC beat.

She seems to take particular pride in harassing poor, homeless, and young people for such "crimes" as "leaning against public property while panhandling", "being in a forbidden zone [that is, outside the 10% of the sidewalk allowed for political tablers, panhandlers, and street performers]", and simply occupying space if a merchant complains.

It is credibly claimed that she (a) makes up or misinterprets local ordinances in response to her own sense of appropriateness downtown, (b) misrepresents what happens in court, (c) unnecessarily and repeatedly harasses or tickets in situations when none are necessary, and (d) prompts other officers to support her perhaps because of "police solidarity" or other such gang phenomena.

I would ask copwatchers to document and pass on the time, place, and people impacted by her citations. I'll try to do the same.


Re: Heard of any problems with SC CSO Pam Bachtel?
by Cruiser
none (nospam) (unverified) \
13 Aug 2004

I know the officer you are talking about, I ride by her with my illegal handlebars and she has never ticketed me. She is very nice really...

Two Harassment Tickets
by Robert Norse
rnorse3 (nospam) (unverified) Current rating: 0
16 Aug 2004
Thanks for the comments.

For those who want to check the downtown ordinances, some of them are posted at .

In the last week and a half, Bachtel ticketed a musician twice--once for "unattended property" when he was standing across the street watching his guitar case. A second time for sitting "within 14' of a building". The musician suggested it seemed to be particularly targeted at him--something easy to do since the "forbidden zones", "dog on Pacific Avenue", "no panhandling in a group of two", etc. laws are repeatedly enforced on a selective basis. Neither ticket, the musician reported, was done on the basis of a citizen complaint.

Keep those reports coming in.

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Where is the Citizens Police Review Board now that we need it?

With the above harassment a regular feature of CSO (the Paminator!) Bachtel, the need for citizen oversite of police behavior has never been more needed. So where is the Citizens Police Review Board?

Defunct!! Thanks to former mayor Emily Reilly who barely paused before axing the $70,000/yr program. Since then Reilly and the rest of the council have repeatedly voted funding for the yuppie live/work studios to be built on the old Saltz Leathers site, for the Convention and Vistor's Center which mostly pays, out of public funding, for free advertising for the Seaside Company, and most outrageously advocates spending $17 MILLION to supplement a plan to tear down the West Coast Hotel and build a bigger, better hotel on the spot. To crunch those numbers---- the City will gain an extra $300,000 per year in revenue. That means that we will break even in 57 years!!!

The City has plenty of money to supplement the towns richest folk (e.g. the Del Mar theatre owned by Ron Lau) and to pay nearly a million for the lawsuit from the police harassment of the Blue Lagoon, but can't spend a lousy $70,000 to protect the City and its citizens from unbrideled police abuse.

Re: Request for Info on SCPD Community Service Officer Pam Bachtel

But when did the Citizens Police Review Board ever do anything productive? As I recall, they were the targets of your rantings a few years ago for being ineffective.

So axing the CPRB was all right with you Jerry????

Reply to Jerry: The CPRB had JUST passed a resolution declaring it is NOT the policy of the Santa Cruz Police Dept. to selectively enforce laws on Pacific Ave. They sent that resolution to the City Council. Their only PAID staffer (a former police officer) FORGOT to forward the resolution to the Council. Then the Council axed the board without allowing them another meeting or even to finish reviewing a case they were 90% finished with. The resolution never made it to the council agenda.

Many of us at HUFF believe that as long as the board refused to take much action on anything, they were tolerated. But when they actually put their heads together to do something....

Well the powers that be couldn't tolerate that.

Chair, Mark Halfmoon had also been zealously pursuing a response from the SCPD on what their official policy on use of force is. He was being stone-walled on that.

And Emily Reilly led the parade to eliminate the board for "budget concerns".

BTW I don't ever recall "ranting" about their ineffectiveness. I do recall very specific reporting on their activities and raising genuine concerns about their effectiveness.

More Bachtel Tickets

Locals at Pacific and Elm, sitting near the Union Grove Parking lot report specific targeting by Bachtel for "panhandling" in a group of two when a person giving money stopped to talk with the panhandler or a friend stopped to chat. They also report repeated ticketing for sitting on the cement lip of the planter bordering the Union Grove parking lot.

If anyone has witnessed or experienced any of these tickets or knows of more Bachtel harassment, please post. If you want to report these incidents in confidence, please call in to 423-4833.


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