Statement from Santa Barbara County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato

Barney Melekian, Assistant County Executive Officer for Public Safety for the last  two years, will be leaving County employment in early February to serve as  Interim Chief of Police for the city of Santa Barbara upon the retirement of Chief  Lori Luhnow on February 13, 2021.  

Barney has been a valuable and well-respected member of the County of Santa  Barbara Executive Office Team, and Undersheriff from 2015 to 2018.  

Public safety has been his calling, as Barney served in law enforcement for 46  years including 13 years as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena, four years  as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in the  Department of Justice (federal), and more than three years as the Undersheriff  for Santa Barbara County before joining the CEO Office in September 2018.  

I will be working on next steps and how best to address priorities in the County  Executive Office in the coming weeks, including cannabis oversight, and racial  equity and the criminal justice system.  

We will miss Barney’s professionalism, empathy, knowledge and wit. We wish  him all the best as he continues to serve residents on the south coast.  


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