Greetings, and I would like to wish you a wonderful 2017! As we head into the New Year, it’s the time to be thankful for the blessings of 2016 and to take stock of all of our achievements from the past year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents, businesses and organizations in the community for their support and assistance extended to our sheriff’s station in 2016. With many challenges facing law enforcement today, your acts of kindness have not gone unnoticed. It has deeply touched the men and women of our law enforcement family.
An exciting achievement this past year was the approval of a new sheriff’s station for Santa Clarita Valley. This community is deserving of a unique, state of the art station, and I’m very proud that we have the approval to move forward. The larger facility will allow us to enhance the public safety services that we provide to the community.
In December 2016, we added a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Mental Evaluation Team (MET) to our station. The team is comprised of a trained deputy and a mental health clinician. The MET team will enhance our patrol deputies’ field responses to incidents involving people with mental illness, especially emergency mental health situations.
We have continued our strong partnership with businesses through the Coalition of Loss Prevention Professionals. The quarterly meeting held at the sheriff’s station allows our detectives to share information about crime trends impacting the business community.
The Crime Prevention Deputy Zone Program has experienced continued success, allowing the community to connect to one of our crime prevention deputies for questions about their neighborhoods. “Coffee with the Captain” events have been held throughout the year in different ‘zones’ giving residents the chance to stop by in an informal setting and discuss their concerns.
The Sheriff’s Community Academy offers community members the opportunity to learn about all aspects of their sheriff’s department. Two community academies were held in February and August of 2016. Participants attended educational seminars, took a jail tour, and went on a ride-along with patrol personnel. The feedback from the community has been very positive and we plan to host the next Sheriff’s Community Academy in 2017.
Our DIVERT task force (Domestic Intervention Violence Education Resource Team), formed in 2015, has continued to make an impact on addressing domestic and family violence. In partnership with the Domestic Violence Center of SCV, we have a trained domestic violence advocate working with our station on site who is available to provide additional education and support to deputies and victims in the field. We continue to focus on education, outreach and enforcement to lessen the domestic and family violence incidents in our community.
We are proud to continue our work with the William S. Hart School District through educational programs such as Drug Free Youth in Town (DFYIT) and Every 15 Minutes. The DFYIT program allows us to work with our youth to educate them about the dangers of drugs and empower them to make the choice to live a drug-free life. Every 15 Minutes is a powerful program designed to instill in our youth the dangers and consequences associated with reckless driving, particularly those related to drinking and driving, speed contests, and distracted driving.
Year-end 2016 Part I crime statistics, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), indicate crime has continued to trend down in Santa Clarita. I attribute this to the hard work of the many members of our sheriff’s department, and our community partners. The predominant crime trend in the Santa Clarita Valley is property crime. Please continue to do your part by locking your vehicles, not leaving any valuables in plain view, and reporting any suspicious activity to our station.
2017, a brand new year to start afresh, to start strong, and accomplish new goals. With the many challenges that face law enforcement today, I am extremely proud of our ability to adapt and remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the best possible services to the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.