What Are the Different Units of the Santa Barbara Police Department?

At the helm of the Santa Barbara Police Department is Barney Melekian, who currently serves as the Interim Chief of Police. Guided by his leadership, the department comprises several units and sections. Some of the major sections within the SBPD include:

  • Patrol Unit: Responsible for the general patrolling of the city, ensuring the safety of its citizens, and being the first responders to incidents.
  • Detective Division: Tasked with solving crimes that require detailed investigation and evidence collection.
  • Traffic Unit: Focuses on monitoring and managing road safety, handling traffic violations, and overseeing accident reports.
  • Canine Unit: Houses trained dogs assisting in various operations, such as drug detection, search and rescue missions, and suspect apprehension.
  • Community Relations Unit: Strengthens the bond between the police force and the community by fostering mutual understanding, conducting outreach programs, and attending community meetings.

What is the History of the Santa Barbara Police Department?

The Santa Barbara Police Department was founded in January 1900 by then-mayor Charles A. Storke. A distinctive motto, “Dedicated to Serve,” was introduced in the early 1970s by Chief Alfred Trembly. Chief Trembly, formerly a commander of the Los Angeles Police Department, aimed to establish a slogan akin to “Protect and Serve” of LAPD. The successful motto was suggested by Ofc. Quinton Brown, who later became a lieutenant. By the 1980s, the department adopted a new shoulder patch and badge, both designed by Ofc. Mark Grunewald, symbolizing its evolving identity and commitment to the city.

How Does the Santa Barbara Police Department Serve the Area?

The SBPD, in addition to its traditional policing duties, takes a community-centric approach to maintaining the safety and well-being of its residents. They actively engage with the community through their lobby hours, allowing citizens to address their concerns in person. Moreover, with the advancement of technology, they have introduced online services, offering a convenient and accessible mode of interaction.

The collaborative effort with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department exemplifies the SBPD’s proactive measures to ensure community welfare, particularly during difficult times. Their emphasis on following public health guidelines reiterates their dedication to community well-being.

The department’s future plans, like the new police station projected for completion in 2026, underscore its commitment to modernization and ensuring optimal facilities for the city’s residents. This new facility aims to reflect the spirit of community policing, indicating SBPD’s continual focus on fostering a stronger bond with the community.

Their swift response to challenges, such as the recent false bomb threats, demonstrates their dedication to ensuring safety and security. By involving federal agencies like the FBI and utilizing resources like bomb detection dogs, they remain unyielding in their mission to keep Santa Barbara safe.

Address: 215 E Figueroa St, Santa Barbara, California.


Click here to view Santa Barbara accident reports.