Bernard Melekian was appointed the Undersheriff for Santa Barbara County in January 2015. He has 36 years of local law enforcement experience, including serving as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena for 13 years. He also served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years where he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980. He was selected as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) by Attorney General Eric Holder, serving from 2009-2013. He oversaw the development of the concept of Collaborative Reform, a widely acclaimed alternative to the traditional consent decree. This work was first utilized in collaboration with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2012. He is a nationally recognized expert in police practices, with specific experience in achieving collaborative change in the culture of law enforcement organizations. His doctoral work on Values-Based Discipline in Law Enforcement Organizations received the Sol Price Award as the outstanding doctoral project of 2012 in the School of Policy, Planning and Development by the University of Southern California. Dr. Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. As a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and served in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Melekian served a second tour of active duty in 2003 when he served for eight months in the Pacific area. He retired from the Coast Guard Reserves in 2009, after 26 years of service.
Board Member: 2013-Present
Interim Chairman: 2017-Present