Police Play Santa; Chief Receives Rotary Award

Dressed in his Santa suit, Officer Craig Burleigh presides over the 11 sets of bike-riding gear Santa Barbara Police Department officers will give to deserving children this winter season.

The spectre of Christmases past haunted Craig Burleigh, who is Santa Barbara Police Department’s beat coordinator. Many officers meet children and families during what should be a happy holiday season but has turned for them into victimization by criminals, tragedy, or other hardship. With the help of a number of businesses, Burleigh hopes to make winter a bit brighter for 11 kids in such situations.

John Dixon of Tri-County Produce donated a variety of 11 bicycles to the Police Department, which Bruce Davis and his staff at Hazard’s Cyclesport assembled and safety checked. S.B. Bicycle Coalition donated 11 helmets, and PetSmart added a large stuffed animal to each, all of which will be gifted to deserving children this winter.

Rotary president James N. Stretchberry presents the Paul Harris Fellowship Award to Chief Lori Luhnow.

This friendly effort by SBPD officers underscores the Paul Harris Fellowship Award that went to Chief Lori Luhnow this year. Presented by the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, the award recognizes Chief Luhnow’s 27 years with the San Diego Police Department and her belief in community policing as a way to bridge the gap between officers and civilians, a style she brings to Santa Barbara, where she became chief on July 19 of this year. A $1,000 donation in the chief’s name to Rotary will be used as part of the nonprofit’s work to eliminate polio and provide clean water worldwide and engage in civic projects here at home.


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