Kelly Ann Gordon is the City of Santa Barbara’s new police chief, the council announced Tuesday. She officially assumes the position September 19.
“I look forward to serving the Santa Barbara community and being a part of this amazing team of policing professionals,” Gordon said in brief remarks to the council. “My first priority is to get to know my people in the police department and our community — both residents and businesses. Together, we will work hard to continue to strengthen our collaborative relationships, achieve common goals, and remain dedicated to keeping our community safe.”
Gordon has 26 years of policing under her belt, the city said in a statement, most recently as chief of the Monterey Park Police Department in the San Gabriel Valley, where she oversaw a staff of approximately 150, including 78 sworn officers, and a $23 million budget. There, the city said, Gordon implemented a co-response Neighborhood Engagement Team that focused on addressing individuals with mental health needs and those experiencing homelessness.
In her statement to the council, Gordon also said she looked forward to working with Santa Barbara’s Police and Fire Commission “as we move forward with expanded oversight and transparency, which I think is very important.”
Gordon began her law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. She left L.A. in 2000 for the Montebello Police Department, where she worked her way up the ranks to lieutenant. In January 2017, she was hired by Monterey as a captain. Gordon has also worked with FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Team for more than 20 years, and as a Canine Disaster Search Specialist, her deployments included the World Trade Center after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike, and Hurricane Rita.