News From the UCSB Police Department

Retired Police Chief John MacPherson Dies

Former University of California Santa Barbara Police Chief John L. "Mac" MacPherson Jr., passed away on Friday, January 14, 2005. He was 57. He had been fighting cancer since November of 2003. Chief MacPherson began his law enforcement career serving as an MP in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He worked as an officer for the Salinas Police Department from 1968 to 1970, before coming to UC Santa Barbara in 1970. He rose through the ranks becoming a sergeant in 1973. He transferred to the UC Davis Police Department in 1978 as a lieutenant. He returned to UC Santa Barbara's Police Department as a lieutenant in 1979. He served as the Acting Chief of Police from 1985 to 1987, when he was appointed Chief of Police at UC Santa Barbara. He remained at the UCSB Police Department until his retirement in early 2004. During his career, he worked patrol, investigations, and administration. He was the recipient of the H. Thomas Guerry award in 1973. From 1994 until 1997, he was the UC systemwide coordinator for Police Services. He left an impression on all those who came into contact with him and he will be missed within the UCSB community.

During his tenure with the department, he developed the first Residential Hall/Police Officer Liaison Program, was the recipient of the Optimist Club of Goleta Respect for Law Award, introduced verbal judo training for all police officers, implemented a ten-point pledge to survivors of sexual assault, served as a member of the campus CARE (campus crisis team), co-developed a UCSB course to introduce students to the criminal justice system with Communication Professor Howard Giles, completed the FBI National Academy, and participated in the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Training program.

Chief MacPherson was affiliated with the California Peace Officers Association; Domestic Violence Coordination Council; FBI National Academy Association; International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators; International Association of Chiefs of Police; Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime and the Santa Barbara County Law Enforcement Executives Group. In addition, he donated his time to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Santa Barbara; the Cub Scouts; and Little League baseball. He also served as a basketball coach for Lompoc Middle School.

"Our entire campus community is deeply saddened by the death of retired UCSB police Chief John MacPherson," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "Mac was a dedicated, important, and valued member of our UCSB family. His leadership and concern for the safety and well being of our students and all members of our community were exemplary. Our campus appreciated and respected his sound judgment and sensitivity. Our hearts go out to his wife Cindy and all members of his family, as well as to his former colleagues in our Police Department."

Bill Bean, acting Chief of Police of the UCSB Police Department, said that MacPherson would be dearly missed. "Mac will always be remembered for his compassion and consideration for others. He loved people and conversed easily with everyone he came in contact with."

Said Acting Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Services Donna Carpenter: "Since 1970 until his retirement, Mac served UCSB with compassion, integrity, and loyalty. He had a distinguished career, implementing innovative programs and always striving to make UCSB a safer place. Mac will be missed by the campus community, not only as a colleague, but as a good friend."

A funeral service with full police honors was held January 20 at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara, followed by interment ceremonies at the Santa Barbara Cemetery.

The MacPherson family has established a scholarship in John's name and requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the fund. Checks should be made payable to the UC Regents with an annotation noting the donation is for The John L. MacPherson, Jr. Scholarship Fund. Contributions should be sent to:


Development Office

Attention: CFO

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California 93106-2013


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