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Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 7:50 am | Fair 48º


You’ve Got Mail: Deputy Pen Pal Program on Lookout for Young Letter Writers

Pen pal program helps children learn to express themselves.
Pen pal program helps children learn to express themselves. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is introducing its new Deputy Pen Pal program. The program is a way for children in Santa Barbara County to communicate with sheriff’s deputies and to build positive relationships with law enforcement in our 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, it is providing sheriff’s deputies with the opportunity to provide 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.

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

“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.

"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 responders," Green said.

The Sheriff’s Office is hoping to expand this program further as it grows in popularity. Parents who have children interested in having a deputy as a Pen Pal, should 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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