The California Highway Patrol announces a new commander for the Santa Barbara Area.

Santa Barbara County native Mark D’Arelli has been named the new commander of the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Barbara Area effective March 1. Captain D’Arelli has been with the CHP for fifteen years. He attended Solvang Elementary and Santa Ynez High Schools. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sacramento State University and a Master of Science in Emergency Management from California State University Long Beach. In May, he will graduate from the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Command College, an 18 month leadership program that focuses on emerging issues and problem solving in law enforcement.

Captain D’Arelli has worked in the communities of San Jose, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, including the CHP Academy and the Department’s legislative unit. As it relates to his new assignment Captain D’Arelli said, “I am honored and thrilled to be working back in this beautiful community that I call home. It is my highest priority to promote the continued safety of all persons on our roadways and I will work diligently with all of our community stakeholders and law enforcement partners to do so.” Captain D’Arelli would like to remind the community April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and “It’s Not Worth It” as it relates to inattentive driving and the tragic results that result from doing so.


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