Commander Shawn Hill


Shawn Hill is a commander with the Santa Barbara Police Department and a Ph.D. student at the University of California Santa Barbara in the department of communication. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. Shawn was appointed to the Community Policing Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2017, a position in which he has co-edited international model policy for policing. He served as a member on the Bureau of Justice Assistance Executive Session of Police Leadership, and he currently holds a position on the board of the California Peace Officer’s Association for Region VII.

Cmdr. Hill has written curricula for courses, grounded in intergroup contact theory and certified by the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), through which police officers and college students work collaboratively through critical thinking exercises to broaden their perspectives. His recent publications have examined the intersection of community policing and intergroup contact and accommodation theories, and organizational resilience. Shawn recently co-edited an international and interdisciplinary 24-chapter volume, The Handbook on Communication, Policing and Society, in press with publisher Rowman & Littlefield. He is currently co-authoring the chapter “Evolving stereotypes shaping law enforcement and policing” in the upcoming Dirty Work: Communicating Stereotypes in Professional Settings, edited by Anastacia Kurylo, Ph.D and Yifeng Hu, Ph.D., contracted with Lexington Books.

Cmdr. Hill currently works in the Chief’s Office at the Santa Barbara Police Department, where he oversees the development, implementation, and evaluation of department processes and initiatives related to police accountability. Some of the positions Cmdr. Hill has held in the department include Patrol Lieutenant, Detective Lieutenant, Patrol Sergeant, Professional Standards Sergeant, SWAT team entry element, SWAT sniper, SWAT team training coordinator, SWAT and CNRT Liaison, narcotics detective, special investigations detective, patrol officer, and bike patrol officer.