Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow spoke at La Casa de la Raza last Wednesday evening about her efforts to connect her department with minority groups in the city. Organized by the Milpas Community Association, around 50 people arrived for an opportunity to shake the chief’s hand and voice their opinions.
Accompanied by several of her officers, Luhnow spoke with many of the attendees one-on-one before and after her brief public presentation. “What’s important to me as a chief and what’s important to my officers is what’s important to you, and we can’t determine what that is unless we talk,” Luhnow said.
With eight new officers graduating the police academy by the end of October, two of which are Hispanic and bilingual, Luhnow said she plans on starting a shift within her department to embrace community policing. La Casa director Raquel Lopez thanked Luhnow’s efforts, and assured audience members that the center would further collaborate with Luhnow on community projects.