The men and women of the Santa Barbara Police Department are proud to announce that Officer Keld Hove and Officer Douglas Klug have been selected to receive the Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime Award for Superior Performance.
Officer Hove and Officer Klug will be honored during the 44th Annual H. Thomas Guerry Awards Ceremony, which is held to recognize excellence in law enforcement in Santa Barbara County.
The ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.
The incident for which Officer Hove and Officer Klug were nominated to receive the Award for Superior Performance occurred at 3:40 p.m. Jan. 14. At that time, Officer Klug was dispatched to the cliffs of the Douglas Family Preserve regarding a suicidal 18-year-old woman there. Officer Hove, who is an expert in crisis negotiation, was assigned to assist.
Upon arrival, they found the woman perched partway down the edge of the steep cliff with a 100-plus-foot drop to the rocky beach below. An investigation revealed that the woman had a history of prior suicide attempts and that she had just been involved in a domestic battery at a nearby residence. Initial efforts to talk her off of the cliff had been fruitless.
Already partway down, she slid an additional 30 feet to a small outcropping, making her precarious position even more inaccessible. It would be hazardous to approach her or to attempt to stop her if she decided to jump. As time passed, rescuers’ concerns were heightened due to the fading daylight. Officer Hove and Officer Klug volunteered to approach the woman to try to talk her out of committing suicide.
With the assistance of the Fire Department, they were fitted with rappelling harnesses and anchored with ropes to trees at the top of the cliff. Realizing the woman’s fragile psyche, Officer Hove and Officer Klug continuously reassured the woman while slowly lowering themselves down the cliff face. After 60 minutes of calming, compassionate dialogue, Officer Hove convinced the woman to extend her hand to him. Officer Hove and Officer Klug then assisted her safely back up the cliff, where she was reunited with her family and contacted by mental health counselors.
The skill, courage and compassion demonstrated by Officer Hove and Officer Klug led to the successful outcome of this incident and exemplify the highest standards of the Santa Barbara Police Department and the law enforcement profession.
Officer Hove has been employed by the Santa Barbara Police Department for 15 years. He has served as a patrol officer, a beat coordinator, a field training officer and a tactical patrol force officer. He is currently the senior officer on the Police Department’s Restorative Policing Team. He also holds a collateral assignment as a team leader on the department’s Crisis Negotiation Response Team. Officer Hove has twice received the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor.
Officer Klug is a 15-year veteran of law enforcement. He started his career with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, where he served as a field training officer and a firearms instructor. In 2005, he was hired by the Santa Barbara Police Department, where he has served as a patrol officer and is presently a field training officer.
In 2007, Officer Klug received the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Officer of the Year Award and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) Top Gun Award for making the most DUI arrests in Santa Barbara County. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he was again recognized by M.A.D.D. for his high numbers of DUI arrests. Officer Klug is certified as a law enforcement drug recognition expert and instructor.
— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.