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South Coast police department veteran named interim police chief

Santa Barbara Police
Commander Marylinda Arroyo has been named Santa Barbara's Interim Police Chief.

Commander Marylinda Arroyo was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, captain, and commander in the Santa Barbara Police department

A familiar face in a South Coast police department has been named to temporarily head the agency while the search continues for a new chief.

Commander Marylinda Arroyo is the Santa Barbara Police Department's new interim chief. Arroyo has been a peace officer for nearly three decades. She currently commands the field operations division, which includes everything from patrol and special enforcement to the SWAT team.

Arroyo is also the first woman in the department to serve as a lieutenant, captain, and commander.

Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow retired in 2021, and Barney Melekian served as interim chief until his retirement this month. A search is underway for a permanent replacement.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.