Lewis enters his last week as SCV’s top cop

Capt. Robert Lewis in his office at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station in Valencia. Dan Watson/The Signal
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After nearly three years of being the top cop in Santa Clarita, this week marks Capt. Robert Lewis’ final days as the leader of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles County officials in Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office confirmed Lewis was being promoted to commander, much like his predecessor, Roosevelt Johnson.

Lewis was named captain of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on April 4, 2017.

Following Lewis’ official last day, the interim leader of the SCV Sheriff’s Station will be Lt. John Lecrivain, according to Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth.

“I would think that we would like to have someone named by sometime in February,” said Smyth, in regards to a question on who would be named as Lewis’ permanent replacement.

“(Lewis) has done a tremendous job over the last three years, and we’re sorry to see him go,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “We’re sure that the new captain will continue to keep Santa Clarita safe the way Capt. Robert Lewis has.”

Lewis began his law enforcement career in Santa Clarita as a law enforcement intern in the 1980s. 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 joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department while attending College of the Canyons and graduated with an associate’s degree after finishing the Sheriff’s Department training academy.

Since then his career has taken him throughout Los Angeles County, with stints in Malibu, West Hollywood, Crescenta Valley and Altadena.

In the mid-1990s, Lewis attended California State University, Long Beach, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in vocational and occupational studies.

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 decrease 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%.

Other issues Lewis worked on during his tenure as captain include traffic speeds/safety and overdoses.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station has approximately 170 deputies spread out over three shifts, seven days a week covering a community of close to 300,000 residents. Lewis has noted in the past that Santa Clarita is the ninth safest city in California for cities with a population of 50,000 and above and 49th safest city in the U.S.

“With the success that the captain was having here in Santa Clarita, it wouldn’t be too long before you know he was going to get promoted, and certainly it’s well deserved,” said Smyth. “His departure will leave a void in our community.”

Lewis lives in the Santa Clarita Valley with his wife and three daughters.

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