Alfred ‘Al’ Alvarez: 1961-2014In Memoriam | Tue Oct 07, 2014 | 6:00pm
Alfred “Al” Alvarez began his career with the Santa Barbara Police Department on August 6, 1988, and retired September 5, 2014. During this time, he assisted countless citizens and Police Department personnel through the Records Bureau.
Over the course of his career, Al received many commendation letters in his file as well as being awarded the Civilian Employee of the Year and Records’ Stellar Achievement Award in 2005. A few other highlights include a commendation for his assistance during a homicide investigation. During this investigation, Al translated between officers and 40 Spanish-speaking witnesses. In June 1993, when no Spanish speaking officers were available, Al assisted during a stand-off between police offers and a suspect in which shots had been fired. Al’s translation during this event helped resolve a tense situation without harm to anyone involved.
Besides the list of Al’s accomplishments, his most valued traits include his professionalism, exceptional work ethic, and commitment to the Santa Barbara Police Department. His commitment to public service was most evident during his illness. Al continued to come to work, maintain his work schedule, and uphold a high level of productivity. His stated goal of continuing to be a productive member of the Records Bureau while ailing was easily achieved. Al was the nucleus of the working component of the Records Bureau. His opinions and ideas were highly solicited and valued; his technical expertise was unparalleled.
What Al will most be remembered for here in the Records Bureau is how much he cared for us. He knew all about us, our nieces’ favorite color, what our hobbies and interests are, and on holiday’s he created gifts that were personal. His gifts were so creative and meaningful to the recipient (an Elvis-themed mini Christmas tree, obscure dragon artwork, or personalized shadow boxes are some of the ways he showed he knew us). He helped his SBPD family in other ways, too. Al spent numerous hours assisting a coworker making origami cranes to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and during his own illness, he made a catastrophic leave donation from his personal leave bank to a coworker also going through an illness.
“Our honor was knowing and working with Al. He will remain a class act forever and a role model of great work ethic his Santa Barbara Police Department family will forever appreciate and honor.” —Chief Camerino Sanchez
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s how you carry it.” —Al Alvarez
In addition to his brothers and sisters at the Santa Barbara Police Department, Al leaves behind his mother, Julia Alvarez; his brothers Raul Alvarez and Mark Alvarez; his sister, Yolanda Alvarez (Smith); and his nieces and nephews. Al was preceded in death by his father, Rosario Alvarez.