Effective March 1, 2021 Bernard Melekian was sworn in as the Santa Barbara Police Department Interim Police Chief.

Chief Melekian previously served as the assistant CEO for public safety for the County of Santa Barbara. His 46 years in law enforcement includes a Medal of Valor & Medal of Courage, 13 years as the Chief of Police for Pasadena, CA, 3.5 years as Undersheriff for the County of Santa Barbara, and 3.5 years as the Director of the COPS Office (Community Oriented Policing Services) in our Nation’s Capital. Melekian achieved his doctorate from the School of Policy, Planning and Development at University of Southern California, in 2012.


Chief Melekian is nationally recognized for his work on the National Police Foundation, which advances the field of law enforcement through innovation and science.