Professional Standards Unit

The Sheriff’s Office considers its relations with the community to be of paramount importance and encourages citizens to express their opinions regarding the performance, professionalism, and conduct of our employees.

The Professional Standards Unit (PSU) conducts in-depth and unbiased investigations of citizen complaints and internally-generated allegations of misconduct made against Sheriff’s Office employees. Each case is evaluated by the Office of the Sheriff and then assigned to the PSU. PSU conducts investigation to determine if violations of the Sheriff’s office procedures, laws or policies have occurred so corrective action can be taken or an employee can be cleared of a false claim of misconduct. The purpose of this unit is to maintain Sheriff’s Office integrity and instill trust with the community it serves.


A relationship of trust and confidence between the members of the Sheriff’s Office and the community we serve is essential to effective law enforcement. Peace officers must be free to exercise their best judgement and to initiate law enforcement action in a reasonable, lawful, and impartial manner and without fear of reprisal. Enforcers of the law also have a special obligation to respect the rights of all persons. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office acknowledges its responsibility to establish a system of complaint and disciplinary procedures which not only subject employees to corrective action when they conduct themselves improperly, but that will protect them from unwarranted criticism when they discharge their duties properly. It is the purpose of these procedures to provide a prompt, just, open, and expeditious disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of members and employees of the Sheriff’s Office.

To this end, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office welcomes constructive criticism and valid complaints against its members or procedures.


In order for a formal complaint to be processed, this completed form should be mailed or brought to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. We also have an online form that can be submitted through the website (see below).


Once a written complaint is submitted, you will be contacted by an investigator to obtain a verbal statement.


A complaint should be made as soon as possible after the incident as practical. Facts are better ascertained when the incident is reported promptly.


A Professional Standards Unit Investigator or Supervisor will review your complaint. You may be contacted if more information is needed regarding your complaint. Each complaint is reviewed by Executive Staff of the Sheriff’s Office.


Anonymous complaints may be accepted if there is sufficient information to warrant an investigation without the aid of the person complaining.


A person under 18 years of age may make a complaint with the knowledge and signature of a legal parent or guardian.

You may download and print (please print 2 sided) our Citizen’s Complaint Form by clicking on the buttons below.

Complaints can be mailed to

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Office of Professional Standards
4434 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110

Another option is to fill out the online form below to submit it through the website.

Concealed Weapons License

The Professional Standards Unit is charged with overseeing the application process for concealed weapons licenses.

While Sheriff Brown supports the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms, he takes the issuance of carrying concealed weapon (CCW) licensing very seriously.

There are three levels of law that come into play in this subject matter; federal, state and local law. The current federal interpretation of the Second Amendment pertains to firearms ownership and leaves “carry” laws up to the individual states. The State of California has three laws that prohibit the generalized, concealed and/ or loaded carrying of a firearm, unless one of the exemptions specified within the law is present.

Unless a specific exemption is present the above noted laws are applicable. Examples of such exemptions include, but are not limited to, the possession of a CCW license, or while participating in target shooting activities at an established shooting range. For a detailed list of exemptions, please refer to the California Penal Code and/ or seek the advice of a competent lawyer.

Additional information regarding CCW’s can be found here:

CCW Authorized Firearms Instructor List for 2023 and prior years
CCW Authorized Firearms Instructors List for 2024 coming soon!

In order to obtain a Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) license, applicants must first submit to a background check that requires a completed application, three (3) signed reference letters from persons known to them attesting to their good moral character. They must be fingerprinted (Department of Justice Livescan) and be eligible to possess firearms under federal and state law. They must then complete a psychological exam and an approved 16-hour in-person training course. In addition, the following fees must be paid:

Current Fees for Standard 2 year Permit:

Additional Fees:

The Sheriff’s Office only accepts applications from residents of unincorporated Santa Barbara County and the following incorporated cities: Buellton, Solvang, Carpinteria and Goleta.

If you live in the city of Santa Barbara, Lompoc or Santa Maria, you will need to apply with your local police department.

If you want to apply for CCW, please follow this link –

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