After more than two and a half years as the Santa Clarita Valley’s “top cop,” county officials confirmed Wednesday morning that SCV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Lewis is slated to be promoted again — to commander.
“He’s obviously very deserving of the promotion and is doing a great job for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Kathryn Barger, when reached for comment Wednesday.
“Santa Clarita prides itself on being a safe, family friendly community. I am proud to say that Capt. Robert Lewis has upheld and enhanced these standards we value,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “We thank him for his dedication to our City and his leadership in fighting crime in Santa Clarita. Our Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are committed to ensuring that our community remains the safe place we are all proud to call home.”
Lewis was not immediately available to comment.
Lewis’ promotion to his current spot as captain of the SCV Sheriff’s Station was announced in April 2017, and during his tenure he saw Santa Clarita’s crime rate hit an all-time low, while leading the effort to address crises ranging from underage vaping to a rash of overdoses to the school shooting last month that left three students dead at Saugus High.
It’s unknown at this time what Lewis’ next position would be, or whether Lewis will be transferred to fill a vacancy elsewhere in the Sheriff’s Department once Lewis’ promotion becomes effective.
The most recent organizational chart available online from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department indicated the department, which has more than 10,000 sworn officers and 8,000 civilian staff, has about two dozen officers serving as commanders.
SCV experience, background
Data released by the city in January showed a 20% drop from 2017 to 2018 for part one crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary and arson. The numbers surpassed the previous record for Santa Clarita, which was set in 2014.
The data also indicated robberies decreased by 26%, burglaries fell by more than 16%, grand theft autos dropped by 30% and assaults declined by nearly 25%.
At the time of his most recent appointment to the SCV Sheriff’s Station, Lewis was not new to the captain’s desk. He had served as acting captain in 2013-14.
Lewis has lived in the SCV since 1966. He attended elementary school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Newhall and graduated from Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills.
He was chosen from a pool of three candidates after interviews with Santa Clarita city officials and a representative from Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office.
Lewis previously told The Signal he wanted to be a part of the Sheriff’s Department after he went on a ride-along as a teenager.
He’s worked all over Los Angeles County for the Sheriff’s Department, including Malibu, West Hollywood, Altadena, Lost Hills and Crescenta Valley.
During his last training bureau stint, he created “Crisis Intervention Training,” which teaches deputies how to work with individuals in crisis.
This story includes material from previous Signal staff reporting.