Police with Guns Drawn in Paseo Nuevo

Santa Barbara Police officers arrest a reported shoplifting suspect at the Paseo Nuevo mall in downtown Santa Barbara on January 18, 2024 (Photo by an edhat reader)

Reported by multiple edhat readers

  • [2:31 p.m.] Santa Barbara Police have guns drawn in downtown Paseo Nuevo Mall. Looking for a man wearing red shoes.
  • [2:32 p.m.] SBPD chasing a shoplifting suspect at Paseo Nuevo.
  • UPDATE: suspect has been arrested.



Written by Anonymous

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  1. so they are out there chasing bad guys and thieves stealing from the store and you want to criticize them on how they do their jobs? have you worked in law enforcement? do you know every detail of this incident? my guess would be “no” to both of those questions. these men and women are out there every day risking their own safety to provide a safe place for us to live and congregate, yet you want to be critical of things like that? what if he brandishes a weapon? what if he’s a known offender with a violent history? you think edhat is going to report every detail? so why don’t you tell us all how you would have done this job better, knowing everything you know and with all of your training.

    • How about we focus on facts instead of what-if this and that? There is zero need or reason for these relaxed officers to have weapons out in a heavily populated public place. They are not in pursuit, they are not dealing with a violent criminal.

      And yes, it is appropriate and necessary for the public to be critical of the police. The police, even locally where we are blessed with a mostly-alright city department, have shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted to police themselves. It is, still, an old boys club (male and female required). Stats don’t lie. The argument that they are risking their lives etc therefore no one should ever question them is silly. It is not heroic to choose to be a police officer. It is just choice to do a dangerous job, and be quite heavily compensated for it.

    • Well, the precedent is that if a suspect is non-violent and not openly armed, generally you don’t draw your gun on them.

      Also, I highly disagree that cops in Santa Barbara are dealing with a great risk to their safety compared to other places. Their response to incidents is usually lackluster and delayed, and on a cherrypicked basis.

      We don’t live in a place with a high murder rate and altercations with armed criminals are far and few between. While there are occasional upticks in violent crime, this isn’t Chicago or Oakland.

      The police here prefer cruising around, responding to calls at their leisure, having team meetups at Chic-fil-a and doing anything but actively policing.

      POV? A victim of violent crime that the police delayed their response to

  2. wow, quite stunned at the anti law enforcement rhetoric here. i’m sure all of you know better with all of your training and education in law enforcement and policing. i bet you all graduated the academy as well and got a BA in Law. I’m also 100% sure you just know so much more and know better than our PD. In fact, after reading these comments, I can tell that a lot of you know the inner workings of the police department too. In your fantasy world.
    BTW Doulie, it’s not easy. Even with my tac vest and gear, trying to drive a truck in Ukraine was a huge hassle and not too easy. So assuming being in a smaller vehicle, it would be a major PIA

    • KNein – I don’t see there is “anti law enforcement rhetoric” in these comments as much as people such as myself commenting to an issue(s) of which we have little knowledge. Don’t let the small schiff get to you, you’ll never make it to retirement. Edhat doesn’t report every detail because I doubt Edhat knows every detail when they write their article. As you likely know cops are often damned if they do and damned if they don’t relative to their work. It’s the nature of the beast, as they say about this job and many others. I don’t need law enforcement training to see the equipment worn by the officer could be a problem for them while driving, walking and when contacting people. I see a lot of equipment on the officer where a suspect can grab onto and toss the officer around like a toy. Is this correct? Possibly a safety issue if it interferes with driving.
      The little I know about those vests, I see “work comp” written all over them.

    • KNein – Not anti law enforcement, we just expect that our PD will act competently when time and time again they don’t.

      There are lots of cases where they don’t properly pursue criminals or follow up and then there are plenty of cases like this where they overreact and make something a big deal out of nothing.

      Every time I go for a drive on the waterfront there are cops cruising but yet that remains one of the hottest spots for small time crime in the city. Why is that? The only conclusion one can draw for that is that the boys (and girls) in blue like looking at the pretty blue ocean and breathing the salty air and aren’t actually policing the area.

      Also as I’ve pointed out in previous comments on other posts, you can often see 3+ squad cars parked and the officers having a tag up at restaurants, and the funny part is we’re all paying for that lunch / dinner / dessert they feel entitled to multiple times a week. In what world do they need to do that besides a couple times a year basis? Is there something so important about their little group get together we are missing? Or is it just the police gang mentality that they should hang out, show out and then do nothing?

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