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(Santa Barbara, CA) Monday, March , 2023 – The Santa Barbara Police Activities League’s (PAL) 23rd annual Putting Kids First event is coming up on Friday, April 28th, 2023 from 5-9pm at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum. The event will include a hosted bar, brisket cook-off between the Santa Barbara Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara Sheriff Department, and City of Santa Barbara Fire, dinner, and a live and silent auction. 

This year’s event is honoring Officer Adrian Gutierrez, and will raise money to support PAL’s academic and enrichment programming for disadvantaged youth in Santa Barbara. For 22 years, Officer Adrian Gutierrez has been serving at the Santa Barbara Police Department in numerous assignments, including Patrol Officer, Beat Coordinator – Eastside, School Resource Officer, Crisis Negotiations Officer, and Community Liaison Officer. Driven by his personal commitment to the community, he has been dedicated and heavily involved with SBPAL, California PAL, and National PAL. 

This year’s Hero’s Award will be given to Commander Aaron Baker, recently retired from the Santa Barbara Police Department after 28 years in recognition of his commitment, exceptional leadership in the face of adversity, and service to PAL and the community. 

“Both Officer Adrian Gutierrez and Commander Aaron Baker are shining examples of what it means to truly serve and protect a community. Through their unwavering commitment and dedication to the youth of the Police Activities League, they have not only instilled a sense of safety and trust but have also inspired future generations to give back to their communities. It is an honor to recognize Officer Gutierrez and Commander Baker at this year’s Putting Kids First Fundraiser, as their contributions have truly embodied the spirit of community policing,” said Judie Lugo, Executive Director. 

PAL will also be recognizing an alumni of the year, Linda Arellano. Linda was a PAL participant, PAL staff member, and is now working as a college advisor and professor at California State University, Long Beach.For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or contact Judie Lugo at The Santa Barbara Police Activities League strives to build the bridge between cops, kids, and our community through educational, athletic, and leadership enrichment programs. PAL, located at the Twelve35 Teen Center, provides teens with holistic programming including academic support and a wide range of enrichment programs such as fitness classes and equipment, environmental education, and social-emotional and mental wellness referral support. For more information about PAL, visit their website at


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