San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara Counties send mutual aid to assist with Caldor Fire
Local law enforcement personnel from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are providing assistance in El Dorado County in response to the Caldor Fire.
Local departments deployed law enforcement on September 1 to fulfill a request for mutual aid through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The personnel sent are part of more than 100 law enforcement members deployed from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
Santa Barbara County Public Information Officer Raquel Zick said personnel sent from Santa Barbara County volunteered and are on a tentative one-week schedule.
“We’ll kind of reevaluate based on need going from there,” Zick said. “It’s all depending on containment and what’s going on with the fire.”
Zick said law enforcement personnel are helping to relieve local staff by keeping evacuated areas secure and providing protective patrols.
She said local departments are shifting gears to make up for fewer law enforcement staff in the area.
“People are working some extra hours. People that are in specialty positions are moving away from those positions and working to cover patrol,” Zick said. “Our county does remain covered.”
Zick said Santa Barbara County has received mutual aid from across the state in numerous times of emergency including the Thomas Fire, the 2018 Montecito debris flow and the civil unrest that spurred from an Isla Vista spring break party in 2014.
She said this is an opportunity for the county to give back.
“It’s an honor for us to be able to help out in other counties and share our staffing with them when they’re in need in the same way that they’ve shared with us,” Zick said.
Zick said some El Dorado County locals are sharing positive experiences with Santa Barbara County law enforcement.
“We’ve got feedback from people who actually live in those areas that are saying that they’re thankful for us being out there and that they’re appreciative to see us patrolling their neighborhood,” Zick said.
SLO County sent 12 members of the Sheriff's Office and seven members from police departments in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Atascadero and Cal Poly.
Santa Barbara County sent 21 Sheriff’s deputies, two communications dispatchers, four Santa Barbara police officers and two Lompoc police officers.