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.
HOW DO I MAKE A COMPLAINT?
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).
WILL I BE CONTACTED BY AN INVESTIGATOR?
Once a written complaint is submitted, you will be contacted by an investigator to obtain a verbal statement.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO FILE A COMPLAINT?
A complaint should be made as soon as possible after the incident as practical. Facts are better ascertained when the incident is reported promptly.
WILL MY COMPLAINT BE INVESTIGATED?
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.
CAN I MAKE AN ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT?
Anonymous complaints may be accepted if there is sufficient information to warrant an investigation without the aid of the person complaining.
WHAT IF I AM UNDER THE AGE OF 18?
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 Permits
The Professional Standards Unit is also charged with overseeing the application process of concealed weapons permits.
While Sheriff Brown supports the 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms, he takes the issuance of concealed carry (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 generalized, concealed and/ or loaded carry of a firearm, unless one of the exemptions specified within the law is present.
- Section 26350 of the California Penal code – Makes it unlawful to openly carry an unloaded handgun on your person and/ or in your vehicle.
- Section 25400 of the California Penal code – Makes it unlawful to possess a concealed firearm on your person and/ or in your vehicle.
- Section 25850 of the California Penal code – Makes it unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.
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 permit 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.
If you want to apply for CCW, please follow this link – https://santabarbaraca.permitium.com/ccw/start
The Sheriff’s Office only accepts applications for residents of unincorporated Santa Barbara County and the following incorporated cities: Santa Barbara, Buellton, Solvang, Carpinteria
If you live in the city of Lompoc or Santa Maria, you will need to apply with your local police department.