The department’s armored BEAR.

Paul Wellman (file)

The department’s armored BEAR.

Sheriff Addresses Law Enforcement Militarization

Sheriff Bill Brown spoke last Saturday afternoon at an ACLU-hosted discussion on the militarization of law-enforcement agencies, acknowledging the similarities between the military and the police but noting “very distinct differences” between the two. “We are in a defensive versus an offensive role,” Brown said, adding that “the rules of engagement are much stricter.” When asked if his department ​— ​which has received numerous pieces of surplus military equipment through the Department of Defense ​— ​has received any drones, Brown said no but that the Sheriff’s Office has been “experimenting” with, but hasn’t used operationally, one that is owned (and could be bought in a “hobby shop,” Brown said) by a deputy. The department also has a MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicle, but it hasn’t been deployed and serves as a backup to the department’s armored BEAR (pictured). An itemized list of the department’s surplus equipment spans 58 pages; most of the pieces are helicopter- and medical-related.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Dos Pueblos High School Stirs Political Pot

Senior-class picture features MAGA and LIBERALS!

Community Forum Provides Updates on Immigration Enforcement

About 9 percent of people in Santa Barbara County are undocumented.

Santa Barbara Launches Interactive Street Sweep Map

Users can identify dates, times, and routes for street sweeping by address and colored areas.

Santa Barbara Zoo Bids Farewell to Beloved Elephant

Sujatha passes away at 47 years old.

Disaster Relief Rundown for Santa Barbara 

A tally of nonprofit giving since the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.