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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons
SCPD stomps all over ADA regarding service animals
Incidents documented by commentator–journalist Robert Norse indicate that the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) does not understand their requirements regarding service animals in public places, like Downtown, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thus I made the following California Public Records Act (CPRA) request to the SCPD. I am researching this problem with a mind to hold the SCPD and the City of Santa Cruz accountable for discrimination against disabled people who they perceive as undesirable.
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The ADA trumps state and local laws which would restrict disabled people's rights to be accompanied by a service animal. Thus manner and place laws restricting dogs Downtown and in other public places cannot be enforced when a disabled person is accompanied by a legitimate service animal. Several years ago the U.S. Department of Justice announced that only dogs can be "recognized as service animals under Titles II and III of the ADA". A service animal is "a dog which is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability". It does not need to be certified or professionally trained.
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From reported incidents, the SCPD seems ripe for an enforcement action for systematically violating the disability rights of homeless and poor people with service animals.
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The Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) doesn't have any policy guiding its officers regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and service animals. See attached PDF.