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Deputy Pen Pal Program Opens Lines of Communication

Letter exchange aimed at building good relationships between law officers and kids

Young letter writers often express feelings about the work of law-enforcement officers.
Young letter writers often express feelings about the work of law-enforcement officers. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has introduced its new Deputy Pen Pal program, which is a way for children in the county to communicate with sheriff’s deputies and build positive relationships with law-enforcement in the community.

The Deputy Pen Pal program is also making a positive difference by encouraging children to write letters, express themselves and have the experience of sending and receiving mail.

In turn, the program provides deputies with the opportunity to offer guidance, motivation and support, and to act as positive role models for young people in Santa Barbara County.

Deputy Shae Green, who patrols the Santa Ynez Chumash Reservation and surrounding Santa Ynez Valley Community, officially started the program several months ago. Since then, when not on patrol, she is busy writing and receiving letters from Santa Barbara County children.

Green said, opening the letters and reading what the children have written is extremely rewarding.

“Growing up, I always looked up to first responders. They truly were my heroes," she said. "I wanted to create a program where children can express themselves and build a friendship they can take with them anywhere.

"I'm hoping this program generates excitement with children because the entire experience of writing, receiving, and reading letters is often lost in today's digital age," Green said.

"I've received many wonderful letters since the beginning of this program and it is refreshing because every child has expressed their appreciation for first responder," she said.

The Sheriff’s Office hopes to expand this program as it grows in popularity.

Anyone who has children who are interested in having a deputy as pen pal, can send letters to: Deputy Pen Pal Program, Solvang Sheriff's Substation, 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463

— Kelly Hoover for Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.


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