First-ever female police chief in City of Santa Barbara set to start in July

Jun 14, 2016

The City of Santa Barbara will soon have a new police chief, following a nationwide search to fill the vacant position. 

San Diego Police Captain Lori Luhnow was selected from 91 possible candidates and marks the first time in Santa Barbara history that a woman will fill the role of police chief.

Luhnow has been with her current department for 27 years, starting as a police officer and rising through the ranks.

Nina Johnson, Assistant to the Santa Barbara City Administrator said Luhnow has a lot of managment experience.

"She manages the in-service training for 2500 police officers and civilians," said Johnson. "She's also served as the captain overseeing investigations, traffic, patrol, special operations—and some of those are even larger than the city [of Santa Barbara's] police department."

In Santa Barbara, Luhnow will oversee 200 sworn and civilian staff members and a budget of $42 million. Her first day on the job is slated for July 18, 2016.