The Santa Barbara Optimist Club, celebrating its 65th year in the city, is soliciting nominations for an award to recognize especially positive contributions by the Santa Barbara Police Department during 2013.

The award to Police Department officers or staff will be known as the Kirby Duncan Award for Positive Policing. Awards will be given each spring for up to three officers and/or staff who perform especially helpful and noteworthy service to the community. A five person committee of Optimist Club members and a police officer will review nominations in March for an awards ceremony in April.

Kirby Duncan, who died in July 2013, served 31 years with the Santa Barbara Police Department, rising to the rank of Captain before his retirement in 1989. For many years Duncan was also a member of the Santa Barbara Optimist Club, serving at various times as both President and Secretary Treasurer. After his retirement from the Police Department, Duncan implemented the Law Enforcement Award at the Optimist Club, which recognized exceptional police service. The new Kirby Duncan Award for Positive Policing will continue that tradition.

Said Judy Duncan, Secretary of the Optimist Club, “I am very proud that our club will continue to recognize the exemplary service of the Police Department. The nomination process and the Citizen Review Committee will provide a positive link between the interests of our community and the excellent work of the Police Department.”

A form to submit nominations for the Kirby Duncan Award for Positive Policing is available on the Santa Barbara Police Department website at or via email request to the Santa Barbara Optimist Club, care of The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2014.

The Kirby Duncan Award is part of the Respect for Law Program of Optimist International, which supports the work of local police departments through awards and educational programs for youth. Optimist Clubs worldwide have been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1919. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers make the world a better place. Some 75,000 individual members belong to more than 2,600 Optimist Clubs and conduct 65,000 service projects each year that serve six million young people.

The Santa Barbara Police Department hosts several community relations programs for members of the community. In addition to Neighborhood Watch, Coffee With A Cop, and the Citizens Academy, the department presents educational programs on crime prevention and personal safety issues. Officers are available to address business, educational, religious, and philanthropic groups and organizations; for more information contact the Beat Coordinator Unit at (805) 897-2320.


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