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9 Sheriff’s Deputy Recruits Graduate from Hancock College Law Enforcement Academy

Traditional ceremony held in Lompoc before a room of dignitaries, family and friends

Undersheriff Barney Melekian poses with nine new deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. Click to view larger
Undersheriff Barney Melekian poses with nine new deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to officially welcome nine new sheriff’s deputies to its team.

This morning, Dec. 8, 2016, at a traditional ceremony before a room of dignitaries, family and friends, 29 recruits graduated from the prestigious Allan Hancock Law Enforcement College Academy in Lompoc.

Of those graduates, nine were hired by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

They are Kyle Bibby, Eduardo Cazarez, Tyler Davis, James Furber, Christopher Morales, Michael Reynoso, Mark Riggar, Garrett Ross and Dustin Winebrenner.  

The Sheriff’s Office graduates range in age from 22 to 40 years. They come from all walks of life including eight with military experience, eight with an associate’s degree, eight with a bachelor’s degree and one with a master’s degree.

Seven of the graduates are collegiate athletes.  

In order to make it to graduation day, the recruits endured 842 hours of comprehensive training over the past five months. The instruction included community policing, patrol rifle training, laws of arrest, criminal investigations, firearms, emergency vehicle operation, chemical agents, scenarios, report writing and numerous written exams.

The training hours do not include the many additional hours they spent at night studying and preparing for tests and application of the instruction.

Also, collectively they lost a total of 215 pounds over the course of the Academy.

Sheriff’s Senior Deputy and Senior Recruit Training Officer J. Langehenning said he is very proud of this group, and knows each one will be a great addition to the Sheriff’s Office.

“It has been my pleasure to watch them grow and to have been a part of their first steps in what will surely be a long career of public service," he said. "This class demonstrated great discipline and integrity throughout this rigorous training.  They have shown they are willing to sacrifice in order to protect and serve the public.”

The Sheriff’s Office congratulates James Furber for receiving the Firearms Award and Christopher Morales for receiving the ARCON (Arrest and Control) Award from the instructors.  Dustin Winebrenner was chosen by his class as the most inspirational.  

The new sheriff’s deputies were sworn in by Undersheriff Bernard Melekian prior to the ceremony and received their new badges. They have two more weeks of in-house training followed by a period of field training.

The rest of the graduating class included recruits hired by the Santa Maria Police Department, the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the Arroyo Grande Police Department and the UCSB Police Department.

We congratulate all of the hardworking graduates and wish them all a great career ahead in law enforcement.

The Sheriff’s Office is always looking for quality candidates to join our ranks who want to make a difference and believe they have what it takes to succeed as a custody deputy or sheriff’s deputy.

Both career paths require individuals who have great moral character, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to handle stress, good judgment and a sound work ethic among other skill sets.

The process of applying and being hired as a custody deputy or sheriff’s deputy is comprehensive and requires many steps, including but not limited to an extensive application, physical agility test, written test, background investigation and interviews.   

To apply to become a Sheriff’s Deputy Trainee, go to:


To apply to become a Sheriff’s Custody Deputy go to:


Please contact the Sheriff’s Human Resources Bureau if you have any additional questions at 805.681.4270.

Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.


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