When the Milpas Community Association invited Santa Barbara’s new police chief to meet residents Chief Lori Luhnow didn’t have to travel far from her new home.
“This is my community. I live close, this is an opportunity to meet my neighbors. My goal is to establish relationships that build trust between the police and community,” said Luhnow.
Residents didn’t shy away from sharing their concerns about everything from aggressive pan-handling to racial profiling.
Bea Molina of the Milpas Community Association said she doesn’t want police to mistake longtime locals for criminals. She is also concerned about homelessness, and a marijuana dispensary. She would like to see a community police officer assigned to and old police office at the community center and library.
Cesar Trujillo carried his newborn to meet the chief. Trujillo said,”We wanted to see what the chief had to say. We need better communication between the community, especially the Latino community and the police. “
His partner, Candice Perez, said she was glad to hear the chief talk about de-escalation training.
She would like to see more transparency when people report complaints.
The chief said she wants to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and take on the issues residents care about.