Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 7:42 pm | Fair 68º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank

SBPD D.A.R.E. Officer Named Assembly’s Woman of Year

Nava honors Officer Anita Chamberlain for leadership on youth and community issues.


Santa Barbara police Officer Anita Chamberlain was honored Monday in Sacramento as the 35th Assembly District Woman of the Year. Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, presented Chamberlain with a resolution at a ceremony in the Capitol.


“Anita Chamberlain represents hope, compassion and courage,” Nava said. “Her commitment to the community and its youth is admirable. She has touched many lives through her work as a police officer and volunteer for many different organizations. She is really making a difference.

"Santa Barbara is lucky to have her. I am honored to recognize her.”

Chamberlain’s current assignment is D.A.R.E. officer, teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education curriculum to fifth- and sixth-graders. The program not only teaches students about the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, but it addresses the consequences of gang violence and stresses the importance of good decision-making, and the consequences of gang violence, resisting peer pressure, making solid friendships and being a good citizen.

As SBPD‘s only D.A.R.E. officer, Chamberlain is responsible for teaching the curriculum at 13 schools and she currently teaches 17 classes a week — a workload that adds up to more than 850 D.A.R.E. graduates every year.  In January, the 2007 fall semester class graduated 447 students alone.

"We are very proud of Officer Chamberlain," police Chief Cam Sanchez said in a statement. "The Police Department’s D.A.R.E. program used to consist of two officers sharing the responsibility of teaching positive alternatives to drugs and gangs to our fifth- and sixth-graders. Anita now has that tremendous responsibility herself!

"We are very fortunate to have Officer Chamberlain as our D.A.R.E. officer."

In addition to her heavy D.A.R.E. class schedule, Chamberlain maintains contact with and interacts with her students by stopping by at lunchtime, playing sports at recess, participating in school jog-a-thons, frequently visiting sixth-grade outdoor camp, and attending various school functions on her own time.

Chamberlain is a 22-year veteran of the Santa Barbara Police Department. She started her career in 1985 as a civilian employee and became a full-fledged police officer in 1987.  She has worked in every SBPD division.

During her patrol career, she became an expert at handling domestic violence cases and sexual assault investigations. Her thorough investigations, coupled with her compassionate manner gained recognition from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office and its Victim/Witness Office.

Chamberlain was a beat coordinator for four years and was the facilitator for SBPD’s Citizen Academy. She also has volunteered with Police Activities League programs for at-risk youth, chaperoned P.A.L. Youth Leadership Council trips and has been the advissr for the SBPD Explorer Post, a leadership program for high school students geared toward those considering a law-enforcement career.

An avid runner and triathlete, Chamberlain was the captain of SBPD’s Baker to Vegas Running Team, represented the department at the annual Summer Police Olympics, and frequently assists and participates in the Special Olympics Torch Run and local athletic events.

In 2005, Chamberlain was recognized by the Santa Barbara Optimists Club for her positive can-do attitude, dedication to her job, and for her personal work with a group of developmentally disabled adults who performed meaningful tasks and did work around the police station every week.

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 Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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 >