Santa Barbara Police Lieutenant Selected as a National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar

Authored on
October 10, 2021

Santa Barbara Police Department’s Lieutenant Shawn Hill was selected as a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) LEADS Scholar for 2021.  The NIJ Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program is designed to support professional development and research capacity of law enforcement officers dedicated to advancing the police profession through science. The NIJ selects 10 LEADS scholars annually from a nationwide selection process.

Lt. Hill is currently assigned to the Chief’s office as the Community Accountability manager. He oversees the Department’s Professional Standards Unit which conducts investigations into complaints against employees. Additionally, Lt. Hill is assigned as the police department’s liaison to the Community Formation Commission, which is currently creating recommendations for a model of civilian oversight of the police department, expected to be presented to city council next year. His other areas of work in academia include the impacts of intergroup communication on police-public relationships and translating research into practice for law enforcement.

“Practitioner and academic collaborations are critical to the improvement of our profession. Lt. Hill’s selection to this national cohort is a testament to his accomplishments in the field of evidence-based policing and his desire to continue the work of improving relationships and service to the many diverse communities we serve. It also speaks to where we are as a department amongst 18,000 other law enforcement agencies in the nation” stated Santa Barbara Police Chief Bernard Melekian.

The LEADS Scholar program will provide professional development, collaboration between LEADS scholars, academics, civilians, NIJ science staff, RAND, PERF and IACP, technical assistance on projects, among other opportunities.



Contact Info


735 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 

P: (805) 963-0611
F: (805) 564-5475

Sgt. E. Ragsdale, Communications Sergeant – PIO