SANTA BARBARA POLICE Department
BE THE DIFFERENCE.
The mission of the Santa Barbara Police Department is to provide for the public safety through the philosophy of community oriented policing. It is to protect and serve our community where all people can live in peace without fear of crime. It is to ensure a professional quality of service and accountability to the citizens of Santa Barbara and to all who should call upon our service.
The Santa Barbara Police Department was founded January, 1, 1900 and the first police station was housed at City Hall located a De La Guerra Plaza. At this time, means of transportation for the seven police officers consisted of foot patrol, one horse buggy, and a single bicycle. In 1960 the physical department was moved to its current building at 215 East Figueroa Street. The current rank structure of the department includes, Chief of Police, Assistant Chief, Commander, Sergeant, and Officer, and has several divisions such as Field Operations, Strategic Operations, Investigative, and Chief’s Support Staff. The police department’s direct jurisdiction is a little over 40 square miles and has a population of 100,000 residents.
On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, the City Council appointed Kelly Gordon as Chief of Police for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
“I look forward to serving the Santa Barbara community and being a part of this amazing team of policing professionals and incredible executive team,” Chief Gordon said. “My first priority is to get to know my people in the police department and our community—both residents and businesses. Together we will work hard to continue to strengthen our collaborative relationships, achieve common goals, and remain dedicated to keeping our community safe.”
Chief Gordon brings 26 years of experience in policing to Santa Barbara. Most recently, she was the Police Chief for the Monterey Park Police Department where she oversaw a staff of approximately 150, including 78 sworn officers, and a $23 million budget. In this role, she restructured the department’s recruitment and hiring practices to reflect modern policing and to ensure the hiring and retention of personnel through comprehensive selection and training programs. She was also responsible for implementing the Neighborhood Engagement Team, a multi-disciplinary/co-response approach to better addressing mental health needs and working with individuals experiencing homelessness in the community.
Chief Gordon began her law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department in January 1996. She then left the Los Angeles Police Department in 2000 for the Montebello Police Department. She worked numerous assignments as she progressed through the ranks to Lieutenant at Montebello Police Department. In January of 2017, she was hired by the Monterey Park Police Department as a Captain.
She also worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue Team for over 20 years and was part of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. She was a Canine Disaster Search Specialist, and her deployments include the World Trade Center after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike, and Hurricane Rita.
Chief Gordon has a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s degree in Leadership from Saint Mary’s University. She is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.
MEET THE CHIEF
WE ARE SBPD.
Our officers and professional staff serve the City of Santa Barbara community, make an impact, have pride in their career and no two days look the same.
Considering a career in law enforcement? Join our Santa Barbara Police Department Team.
Sgt. DeJohn has been working at the Santa Barbara Police Department for the last 25 years. He started his career as a cadet and then became a reserve officer for two years prior to becoming a full-time police officer. He has worked multiple specialty assignments over the years and is now assigned to our detective bureau as a unit supervisor.
Officer Bruce has been employed at the police department since 2011 and has worked several specialty assignments over the years. She has been assigned to our Special Enforcement Team (SET), been the department's training officer, worked as an arrest/control instructor, and is a member of the active shooter training cadre.
Veronica Ramirez has been working at the Santa Barbara Police Department since 2016 and is a Santa Barbara area local, having grown up in Carpinteria. She joined SBPD because she loves working and interacting with the SB community.
Alvin Chu first came to Santa Barbara as a student at UCSB and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He decided to join the department because he wanted to use what he learned to give back to the community in the most direct way possible, and by being in dispatch, Dispatcher Chu is given the opportunity to be the first point of contact for people in need of help.