About 100 local business leaders gathered Tuesday to learn how they can partner with law enforcement to help keep the community safe by being their “eyes and ears,” as Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Lewis put it.
“I have 179 deputies to support close to 300,000 residents. We cannot do it alone,” he said during the Valley Industry Association’s October Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. “If you don’t engage (the community) to be visible out there for us, for our kids — we will lose the fight.”
Lewis and other officials with the SCV Sheriff’s Station, including Lt. John Lecrivain and J-Team Intervention Specialist Travis Sabadin, shared some of the challenges facing parents and children with drug use, how businesses can protect themselves from crime and a construction update on the new SCV Sheriff’s Station.
When it comes to vaping among youth, J-Team Detective Bill Velek said the issue is not an SCV epidemic, but rather, “We have the same epidemic that the rest of the country has.” He and his team shared that they are addressing teen drug use with “education, intervention and enforcement.”
“If our parents don’t have the information about what our kids are really exposed to, they can’t properly parent our children,” he said. “Our big piece is teach the parents, teach the adults in our community so they can then teach the children.”
The station is working on improving and growing its intervention team by adding at least one more team member, Lewis said. Aside from the safety of children, businesses can help reduce crime by informing law enforcement of crimes or suspicious activity in a timely manner, said Lewis.
“If we don’t create a safe community for Santa Clarita, no one is going to want to … come up to your businesses, no one is going to want to buy homes here because it’s not a safe place,” he said. “Please be engaged in what we do in law enforcement, be part to let us know what’s happening and then be our voice out there to know what we’re doing right, wrong.”
Lecrivain, who showed a virtual tour of the new sheriff’s station, said construction is on schedule for the slated completion date of April 2021.