Safety First

The UCSB Police Department to take top honors at campus safety summit

The UC Santa Barbara Police Department has been named to receive the 2016 Department of the Year Award at Safe Campus: The National Campus Safety Summit.

The award will be presented to Chief of Police Dustin Olson in February at the annual three-day conference in Las Vegas aimed at college and university safety, security and emergency management administrators.

The UCSB Police Department was selected from a pool of 4,706 eligible institutions in which administrative departments had worked to improve campus safety.

“Being selected for this prestigious award epitomizes the commitment and dedication of the men and women of the UCSB Police Department,” Olson said.

 “This award is a testament to our Police Department’s outstanding, responsive, and friendly service as well as its dedication to maintaining the health and safety of our students on campus and in our adjacent community, especially Isla Vista,” said George Foulsham, UCSB’s director of news and media relations. “Beyond enforcement, our officers are building solid relationships with our students and other members of the surrounding community through the implementation of strong outreach initiatives.”

The Department of the Year Award recognizes outstanding accomplishment in student and campus safety by a U.S. college or university administrative department. The UCSB Police Department is recognized for its response to the unsanctioned street party in Isla Vista that became known as Deltopia, and for its handling of the Isla Vista tragedy.

 “The UC Santa Barbara Police Department shares concurrent jurisdiction over the Isla Vista area with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol,” Safe Campus officials noted. “Recognizing the immediate need for action and a change of culture within the Isla Vista community, the UC Santa Barbara Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Dustin Olson, immediately implemented a policing plan directed at decreasing and preventing criminal activity within the Isla Vista and University community.”

The National Campus Safety Summit is Feb. 24-26. Two UCSB police sergeants, Ryan Smith and Matt Bly, will speak Feb. 24 about what the department learned from both 2014 incidents.

More information about the conference can be found at

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