SBPD to Swear in 9 Members for New VIP Initiative

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Source: Santa Barbara Police Department


(SANTA BARBARA, CA) – On Friday, July 7th, at 10:30 AM, Police Chief Lori Luhnow and City Administrator Paul Casey will swear-in 9 members of the Police Department’s new Volunteers in Policing (VIP) initiative – 215, East Figueroa Street, Police Department, Murphy Room.

The VIP concept was introduced and supported by the City Council in October 2016.  The program will be led by Howie Giles a retired UCSB Professor of Communication.  Giles, Volunteer Director, will take up his appointment full-time.

Chief Luhnow is elated to welcome the Department’s newest coalition, “These volunteers will bolster our commitment Community Oriented Policing,” she said.

“They’ll help me to build partnerships with critical stakeholders within the community, identify the root causes of crime and then work together to solve community problems.”

The corps is dedicated to enhancing law enforcement-community communication and relations.  Their aim is to contribute to Santa Barbara’s safety and welfare.  VIPs will also assist officers to enhance law enforcement’s presence downtown.  Moreover, they will act as police lobby greeters, creating a positive, streamlined front-counter experience for the public.  Lastly, the Unit will support the Department by providing police-oriented services to folk of all ages.

Currently, 9 VIPs have successfully passed their background investigations.  Giles’ vision is to swell the force by another 10 during 2018. 

Each volunteer was hand selected for their enthusiasm, accomplishments, and prior field of expertise.  They range in profession from university professor to high school teacher to an IT consultant.

On July 7 they will begin their mission by attending an internal Training Academy Day for the volunteers at the Department.  In the near future, the public will start encountering members on State Street and in the Police Department lobby.

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