The Santa Barbara Police Department is proud to announce the swearing-in of eight new police officers. Chief Kelly Gordon swore in these officers last week. Six graduated from the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center and two are lateral officers from other California law enforcement agencies.
The six officers who just completed the police academy will be participating in a post academy orientation before starting field training. The two lateral officers are currently on field training. The field training program consists of a more than 18-week hands-on course where the new officers conduct field operations while being supervised by their field training officer. After successful completion of the course, they will be released to conduct solo patrol operations.
Officer John “Scott” Behlman:
Officer Behlman was born and raised in Santa Barbara and attended San Marcos High School. After graduation he enrolled in the fire academy and worked as an EMT at Cottage Hospital Emergency Department and as a reserve firefighter for Cal-Fire. He decided after working as a reserve firefighter to pursue a career in law enforcement and applied to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Officer Rodolfo “Rudy” Corrales:
Officer Corrales was born and raised in Santa Barbara and attended UCSB, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology. After graduating from UCSB, he worked as a case manager in the social services field for the Santa Barbara Housing Authority. He joined SBPD because he loves helping people and wants to be a role model for the youth in the Santa Barbara community.
Officer Brian Doca:
Officer Doca was born and raised in Santa Barbara and, after high school, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After his time in the military, he was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant and started working as an EMT with American Medical Response (AMR). During his time as an EMT, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and justice studies from California State University, Northridge. After several years working side-by-side with SBPD officers during emergency calls, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement and joined the SBPD family.
Officer Shay Feith:
Officer Feith was raised in Ventura and, after graduating high school, she attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix where she received a bachelor’s degree in forensics and a master’s degree in forensic psychology. After graduating from college, she worked as an admissions counselor for Grand Canyon University in both the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. She joined SBPD because she wanted to work in a community that supports law enforcement and provides many career opportunities.
Officer Robert Mestas:
Officer Mestas was born and raised in Santa Barbara, where he attended Dos Pueblos High School. During his senior year, he became a police explorer with the CHP and attended Santa Barbara City College after graduating high school. After SBCC, he then joined the United States Navy. Officer Mestas was honorably discharged from the Navy as a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman at the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class. He joined SBPD to serve the local community he grew up in.
Officer Nathaniel “Nate” Tagles:
Officer Tagles was raised in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he attended Santa Ynez High School. After graduating from high school, he worked as an SBPD cadet and as a security agent at the Miramar Resort. Officer Tagles continues a family legacy of officers with SBPD, starting with his grandfather, retired Sergeant Charles Baker, his uncle, Lieutenant Aaron Baker, and his father, retired Sergeant Dan Tagles.
Officer Alejandro Donoso:
Officer Donoso is a lateral hire from Alhambra Police Department and has almost 17 years of law enforcement experience: 15 ½ years with the Los Angeles School District Police Department and 1 ½ years with the Alhambra Police Department. He has had the opportunity to work in several special assignments including gangs, narcotics and SWAT. Officer Donoso also served as a field training officer and on a mental health evaluation team with his previous agencies. Officer Donoso joined SBPD to help a wonderful community and grow both personally and professionally.
Officer Rikki Martinez:
Officer Matinez was born and raised in San Jose and attended Kentucky State University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Officer Martinez joined the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, where she worked as a correctional officer for three years. She was then promoted to deputy sheriff, where she worked as a patrol deputy for three additional years. She wanted to work for a department that takes pride in serving the Santa Barbara community and to grow professionally with all the opportunities SBPD has to offer.