Skip to Content

Former Santa Barbara County Sheriff dies at 87

Former Santa Barbara County Sheriff John Carpenter died Thursday afternoon after a prolonged illness. He was 87.

Carpenter was elected sheriff five times and served the county from 1971 to 1990. His tenure was one of the longest in Santa Barbara County history.

For the last 20 years Carpenter called Virginia home. He died in the Old Dominion state surrounded by friends and family.

Carpenter served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper shortly after World War II and spent 34 years of his life in law enforcement.

His first job was at the Hermosa Beach Police Department, in the town where he grew up. Later in his career, Carpenter provided security at Reagan Ranch for Former President Ronald Reagan. Carpenter’s daughter Morgan said getting to know the former Commander-in-Chief was the highlight of his career.

Current Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown issued the following statement:

“John was the consummate law enforcement professional. He ushered the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office into the modern era and was responsible for implementing many of the programs, policies and procedures we embrace and continue to use to this day. Unwavering in his integrity, and dedication, he was a skilled law enforcement leader who led from the front. We are proud to have his name on our Main Jail, and I am grateful that he knew we had broken ground on a new jail in our north county, something that he was the first to push for several decades ago. He will be deeply missed.”

Carpenter leaves behind a wife, a son, four daughters, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Morgan Carpenter said of the county where her father served, “Santa Barbara gave my dad the gift of acceptance, unparalleled beauty and a great personal challenge. Our family will always be grateful and call Santa Barbara home.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content