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Santa Barbara swears in interim police chief

Interim chief .jpg
Posted at 12:41 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 15:49:45-05

Santa Barbara’s interim police chief was sworn in Monday.

Interim Police Chief Bernard Melekian replaces former chief Lori Luhnow, who retired on Feb. 13.

Melekian was chosen by City Administrator Paul Casey to serve in the department’s top role until a permanent replacement is found.

“I bring you a simple commitment; I will keep the Santa Barbara Police Department moving forward on the cutting edge of 21st Century Policing and continue to reinforce the concept of what some have called ‘procedural justice.’ That is, to ensure that we continue to treat everyone with dignity and respect and that our internal administrative processes reflect and reinforce those values,” Casey said shortly after being sworn in.

A national search, which the City says could take months, is underway.

Melekian has 46 years of experience in law enforcement.