Police chief Cam Sanchez swears in seven new police officers to the SBPD. From left to right: Ryan Aijian, John Barriga, Cynthia Carter, Michael Chung, Dominic Flores, Kaitlyn Heinz, and Kendall Russell
Paul Wellman
Officer Flores gets his new badge pinned by his wife.
Paul Wellman

With badges pinned to their chests and handguns buckled in their belts, seven new officers officially joined the Santa Barbara Police Department during a ceremony this Wednesday.

They are: Ryan Aijian of Santa Barbara; John Barriga of El Segundo; Cynthia Carter of Corona; Michael Chung of Fullerton; Dominic Flores of San Carlos; Kaitlyn Heinz of Santa Paula; and Kendall Russell of Simi Valley. All but one of the new officers graduated college with bachelor’s degrees in subjects ranging from criminal justice and political science to social work to philosophy. The ceremony took place at the downtown Jury Assembly Room on Santa Barbara Street.

Officer Carter gets her new badge pinned by Chief Cam Sanchez.
Paul Wellman

The group will now begin a six-month training course that will cover criminal law and investigation, traffic enforcement and defense tactics, as well as cultural sensitivity, ethics, and some Spanish-language skills. SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said its unusual for the department to swear in so many officers at once. Two or three is the typical number, he said. Police work is becoming a very competitive field, he went on, so candidates have more often than not completed a college education.


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