Lt. Juan Camarena announced his candidacy Wednesday for Santa Barbara County sheriff.
Lt. Camarena, who has worked for 23 years at the Sheriff’s Office, plans to discuss his campaign during press conferences Monday in Santa Barbara, Solvang and Orcutt.
In announcing his run for sheriff, Lt. Camarena said he plans to focus on community, vision and accountability. He said that if he were elected, he would bridge the communications gap between the community and law enforcement.
Lt. Camarena, who manages the Sheriff Office’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and SWAT team, also promised to restore trust and transparency.
“Law enforcement is changing, and we need to be ready to adapt,” Lt. Camarena said in a statement Wednesday. “I am wholly committed to improving the communities of Santa Barbara County through community partnerships, department modernization and accountability to the public.”
He said he would like to bring county citizens and the Sheriff’s Office together to find out how law enforcement can better serve people.
“In the past years, the Sheriff’s Office has been reactive and not proactive,” Lt. Camarena said. “The Sheriff’s Office needs a qualified leader, who has moved through the ranks and the organization, to create a more focused and forward-thinking office.”
During his tenure with the Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Camarena has worked as a patrol deputy, detective, sergeant, human resources lieutenant and station commander for Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
The current sheriff is Bill Brown.