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Santa Barbara's police chief to retire in 2021

Lori Luhnow 1.jpg
Posted at 3:50 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 18:50:42-05

Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow is retiring.

Chief Luhnow announced Monday that her last day on the job will be Feb. 13, 2021.

Luhnow became Santa Barbara's first female police chief in 2016 and has spent a total of 32 years in law enforcement.

Before coming to Santa Barbara, Luhnow was a captain with the San Diego Police Department.

While the city conducts a nationwide recruitment for a new chief, Bernard "Barney" Melekian will take over as the Interim Chief of Police.

Melekian is currently the Assistant County Executive Officer for the County of Santa Barbara.

He previously served as Undersheriff from 2015 to 2018 and has a total of 46 years in law enforcement.