WEATHER »
<b>OPEN SESAME:</b>  Mayor Helene Schneider officially opens the SBPD’s first drop-in center.

Tyler Hayden

OPEN SESAME: Mayor Helene Schneider officially opens the SBPD’s first drop-in center.


Cops Fly the Friendly Flag

SBPD Opens First Community Policing Office at Franklin Neighborhood Center


Flanked by an elementary school and a corner-store hangout popular with Eastside gang members, the Franklin Neighborhood Center on Montecito Street is now home to the city police department’s freshly minted Community Policing Office. An informal drop-in center staffed by a rotating mix of officers ​— ​many of them Spanish-speaking ​— ​the space is meant to engender a sense of trust and access sometimes lost in the intimidating atmosphere of police headquarters.

The one-year pilot program, explained Sgt. Riley Harwood, was hatched in partnership with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, which offered the $10,000-a-year property for free. Its three rooms ​— ​complete with leather couches, coffee and snacks, and artwork created by Franklin Elementary School students ​— ​have already been visited by area residents voicing concerns and asking for advice about driver’s licenses, their children, and interactions with gangs, Officer Adrian Gutierrez said.

Taking pains to note the center is not a police substation ​— ​meaning no one will be booked or interviewed at the location ​— ​Harwood said if all goes well with the Eastside office, the department may look to the Westside for another space. Right now, Gutierrez is holding court at the center and making announcements about its opening on Radio Bronco. Chief Cam Sanchez said he’ll be scheduling office hours for walk-in visitors, as well.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Carpinterians Gather to Protest Border Policy

'Families are the building block of our entire society,' said Carpinteria Mayor Fred Shaw.

Vampire Weekend Plays for 805UndocuFund This Weekend

Will match up to $10,000 in donations for Libbey Bowl concert.

Immigration Raids Chill Santa Barbara County Community

A quiet has settled over Old Town Goleta after at least five people were grabbed by ICE ...

Seasoned Bandit’ Said to Suffer the ‘Lottery Curse’

Tip led to bank robber James Hayes, who'd hit four Santa Barbara County banks, and six others.

FEMA Reveals New Map for Montecito, Carpinteria Valley

Property owners wishing to rebuild must avoid flooding from 100-year storms.