In two separate and socially distanced ceremonies, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown welcomed and swore in six custody deputies and six sheriff’s deputies Wednesday, Dec. 9, just prior to graduation ceremonies at the Allan Hancock College Public Safety Academy. 

The new custody deputies graduated from the CORE Custody Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 8, along with two other classmates, having completed 220 hours of course instruction. Some of the instruction included emergency planning in a custody facility, report writing, ethics, investigation procedures, classification of inmates, contraband detection, arrest and control, physical training and direct supervision training. Graduates from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office were Jose Blanco, Wei-Chieh Shih, Salvador Vargas, Samuel Villegas, Lia Welkom and Glenn Williams. Custody Deputy Welkom was honored as the class valedictorian, Blanco received the Ron Battles Award, and Vargas earned the Leadership Award. 

On Dec. 9, six sheriff’s deputies graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy, along with 10 other classmates, having completed 751 hours of course instruction. Graduates from the Sheriff’s Office include Steven Cruz, Emanuel DeAlba, Yeshella Jimenez, Tyler Odekirk, Christopher Portman and Harrison Tabora. Deputy Odekirk was the co-valedictorian and also earned the Marksmanship Award, Physical Fitness Award, and Scenarios Award. These new deputies will be taking all they have learned in the past six months and continue their growth in the Field Training program. Upon completion of field training, they will be patrolling Santa Barbara County as solo deputies. If you are interested in career in law enforcement or know someone who is, please visit our website at to apply.

You can watch each of these swearing-in ceremonies on our Instagram page: SantaBarbaraCountySheriff.