Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Noel Rivas has joined the Goleta Motors Unit.
Sgt. Rivas’ first day with the division was on Monday. He will take over for Sgt. John Maxwell, who was just promoted to lieutenant and has moved on to a new assignment.
Goleta law enforcement is overseen by the Sheriff’s Office, which is under contract with the city of Goleta.
Sgt. Rivas, a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara County, is bilingual and comes to Goleta with 40 years of law enforcement experience.
“We are excited to have Sgt. Rivas join the Goleta Motors Unit,” City Manager Michelle Greene said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position and will be an asset in increasing traffic safety in Goleta.”
Sgt. Rivas also gave his thoughts on his new position.
“I am truly excited to become the new city of Goleta traffic unit motor sergeant,” he said. “I had my first interaction with a motor officer when I was in second grade and I knew I wanted to ride a motorcycle.
“In my 29 years with the Santa Barbara Police Department, I worked on and off on a motorcycle for 23 of those years. I feel like I’ve come full circle, and I am honored to serve the Goleta community.”
Sgt. Rivas moved to Santa Barbara when he was 4.
He attended local schools including Harding University Partnership School for elementary grades, La Colina Junior High, San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara City College and UCSB. He began his career as a corrections officer/reserve deputy with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office four days shy of his 19th birthday.
He was then hired at the Santa Barbara Police Department, where he worked for 29 years before retiring. During his time there, Sgt. Rivas held several different positions, including field training officer, gang enforcement, school resource officer, beat coordinator, motor officer, patrol supervisor, detective supervisor, traffic/motors supervisor and motor sergeant.
During his past eight years with the Sheriff’s Office, he has been assigned to every station in South County and worked as a bailiff for the Santa Barbara Superior Court.
“In addition to welcoming Sgt. Rivas to Goleta, we want to take this opportunity to thank Lt. Maxwell for his two and a half years of service to the city,” a news release read. “Lt. Maxwell has spent the majority of his 19 years at the Sheriff’s Office working in and around the Goleta Valley.”
Lt. Maxwell added: “I can honestly say that the opportunity to work so closely with the city of Goleta over the past few years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I will miss working with city staff, and the community, to help keep Goleta the amazing place to live and work that it is.”