Tuesday, September 26 , 2017, 8:09 am | Fair 52º


Local News

Santa Barbara Officers Recognized for ‘Positive Policing’

Optimist Club gives awards to Officers Jon Reyes and Kyle Lowry, and Sgt. Ed Olsen

Three Santa Barbara police officers were recognized this week for their contributions to the community by the Optimist Club of Santa Barbara, which celebrated the men as they gathered at Moby Dick Restaurant for lunch at Stearns Wharf.

 Earlier this year, the club received nominations for especially positive contributions by officers of the Santa Barbara Police Department during 2013.

A committee of Optimist Club members and a police representative selected the awardees: Officers Jon Reyes and Kyle Lowry, and Sgt. Ed Olsen.

They each received the "Positive Policing Award" from club president 

Chuck Champlin.

Attorney Joe Howell nominated Lowry for helping him track down a stolen iPad that was traced to the home of a "prolific local burglar," Lowry said, and had been sold to another person by the time they arrived.

The owner of the home was able to recover the device and hand it over to police.

Reyes was nominated by Washington Elementary Schooll Principal Anne Hubbard and Monroe Elementary Principal Celeste Darga for his work with students, and his presence in the schools. Hubbard noted that Reyes had been particularly helpful when one of the students stopped coming to school.

The child was in a troubled home with a drug-addicted mother and had sporadic attendance, and Hubbard and her staff went to look for him in some of the places where the mother frequented.

After an extensive search with no luck, Hubbard called Reyes, and "within half an hour," Reyes had found the boy and Hubbard and Reyes were able to talk to the boy's mother and get the child back in school.

"He is now under appropriate care and connected to services," Hubbard said.

Olsen also received an award for his work in the department's restorative policing efforts, and with a formerly homeless man he helped get into supportive housing.

Olsen recalled meeting Bill Franklin at Starbucks but never knowing the man was homeless until Olsen took over the department's restorative policing program in 2010.

"You'd never know he was living in a van," Olsen said.  

When Franklin's partner died because of health complications, Olson said, the man was in a very fragile state and "was on the verge" of falling into a crisis situation and ending up on the streets.

Olson was able to help Franklin get into housing, even acting as a reference for the man, and Franklin has been in housing for about six months.

The sergeant has spent more than a decade on the city's SWAT team and in the detective bureau, "but to help somebody like Bill and those like him is profound."

"It is a reward that you can't really put into words," he said. "I've put a lot of bad guys in jail and helping someone like Bill makes what we do really special."

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >