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Santa Barbara police chief responds to community immigration fears

Since Donald Trump became President-elect, fears of massive deportations have spread rampantly throughout our Central Coast communities, and in other parts of the country.

In Santa Barbara, SBPD Chief Lori Luhnow recently met with residents whose fear of being separated from their families because of their immigration status is a real one, and wonder if local law enforcement will actively seek undocumented immigrants for deportation. But Chief Luhnow says not to worry. She released the following statement addressing the community:

In the past week, I have heard from many of our community members who have expressed to me their personal fears about the election results and its impact on our community, specifically as it relates to immigration enforcement and deportation. In this message I intend to address the concerns of all of our community, but specifically the fears of the parents, children, and relatives of undocumented immigrants in our city who feel unsafe.

The Santa Barbara Police Department is committed to protecting everyone’s rights, regardless of immigration status. Our department policies related to immigration have not changed as a result of recent elections. We will continue to arrest and seek prosecution of anyone who has committed a crime in Santa Barbara, but the immigration status alone of individuals in Santa Barbara is NOT a matter for police action.

I believe we make progress in our community by embracing inclusive, thoughtful dialog and collaboration. In this way, our officers work diligently every day to build trust and nurture the legitimacy necessary to successfully, and collaboratively, provide public safety to our community. I am, and your police officers are, committed to providing service that meets our community values. I will continue to be present in our community and hear and be responsive to your concerns.


Chief Lori Luhnow

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