Captain Lewis pumps up zone coverage of the SCV

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Captain Robert Lewis at the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening groundbreaking on May 2, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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While the SCV may not be Mayberry, the plan to reinvigorate the local sheriff’s Zone program promises to pump up patrols in eight SCV neighborhoods, allowing no crime – from felonies to reports of pies being stolen from window sills – to go unreported, unanalyzed and uninterpreted.

Captain Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal last month he wants a “stronger direction” pursued by the zone deputies.

Lewis put that plan into motion this month.

“I want to reintroduce the public to our Crime Prevention Unit Zone Leaders,” Lewis said Friday.

“Our service areas of Santa Clarita Valley are divided into eight zones. Each zone is monitored and managed by a Crime Prevention deputy who looks at incidents of reported crimes and keeps track of crime trends.

“We need to develop our crime prevention mission and goals through predictive policing,” he said.

“This entails identifying areas where crimes are frequently occurring, and making an action plan,” Lewis said.

Zone leaders compile weekly comprehensive crime summaries which include all crimes reported in their respective zones – big or small.

Zone 3 Leader Deputy Kevin Duxbury who covers the zoned area of Stevenson Ranch reported – among other crimes last week – a petty theft that occurred on Chiquella Lane.

In his report Duxbury wrote: “Person(s) unknown stole the victim’s cell phone which she had left unattended in the bathroom of the location.”

Deputy Jon Wilson, the zone 7 leader for Canyon Country West, listed in his report last week that a pair of boxing gloves were stolen from an unlocked vehicle on the 18600 block of Soledad Canyon Road.

And, in the Zone 6 area of Newhall, Deputy Betsy Shackelford logged a report she received that “person(s) unknown forced entry into the business’s outside attached restroom.”

The eight crime prevention zones in Santa Clarita Valley are: Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Canyon Country East, Canyon Country West, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic/Val Verde and Gorman.

“By having a deputy responsible for tracking the crime in each zone,” Lewis said, “it will be easier for them to identify crime patterns and offenders. The deputies will work directly with the patrol deputies and detectives to relay trends that they are seeing in their respective zones.”

Through regular meetings with the Crime Prevention Unit deputies, Lewis receives weekly reports on crimes that are occurring in each of the zones and is able to assist in formulating action plans customized for each area.

The captain encourages residents to identify their zone leader, and stay in contact with them regarding crime trends and nuisance problems in their neighborhoods.

To identify your area’s Zone Leader, use the following link.

“All SCV residents are encouraged to sign up for Nixle,” Crime Prevention Sergeant Michael Wright said.

“If they are concerned about privacy, they don’t have to give their full address when they register on-line, the nearest cross-streets to a residence can be used.”

In April 2011, former Captain Paul Becker divided the 648 square miles of Santa Clarita Valley into eight zones with each zone monitored and managed by a designated deputy.

“Now we’re the third largest city in the county,” the current Captain, Lewis, told The Signal last month.

“We’re not in Mayberry,” he said, referring to 1960s-era television’s Andy Griffith Show, which depicted a small fictitious North Carolina town where nothing really bad ever happens.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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