Chief of Police & Community Accountability Staff
Police Chief Kelly Gordon
On September 19, 2022, Chief Kelly Gordon was sworn in as the Santa Barbara Chief of Police.
Chief Gordon brings 26 years of experience in policing to Santa Barbara. She 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 and was later appointed as their Chief of Police.
Chief Gordon 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.
“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. “I’m excited to work together with the community and all the members of the Santa Barbara Police Department. Together we will work hard to continue to strengthen our collaborative relationships, achieve common goals, and remain dedicated to keeping Santa Barbara safe.”
The Office of the Chief of Police has both sworn and professional staff (non-sworn) and is composed of two sections: Chief's Staff and Community Accountability Staff.
The Chief's Staff develop and review policy and procedures providing direction for the maximization of the total law enforcement effort.
Chief of Police: Leads the Department operating under the philosophy of Community Oriented Policing.
Chief's Executive Assistant: Provides staff support and is Secretary to the Fire & Police Commission.
Command Staff: Two Assistant Chiefs command the Field Operations Division and Investigative & Internal Operations Division.
Community Accountability: Provides support to the Santa Barbara community by forming strong relationships with professional organizations, businesses, community members, and the Fire and Police Commission.
Public Information Officer: The official spokesperson for the Department handles and coordinates all media involvement, press conferences, and internal / external communication.
Professional Standards: Conducts personnel complaint investigations, internal audits, and assists in the defense of police civil litigation cases.
Business Office provides the department with budgetary, payroll, purchasing, and personnel functions.
Parking Section staff processes parking citation payments and vehicle releases at the records counter.