I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station recently. It’s been open for over a year and I was so appreciative to be able to tour the facility.
When I got there, I let the deputy at the reception area know I was meeting with Capt. Justin Diez, and I sat down.
Shortly thereafter a young man walked in, and the deputy asked what she could do to help him, and he referenced something about having received a DUI and he needed paperwork showing that he had done everything that was required.
She told him she’d be right back, and he stood there, and I asked him, “Do you live around here?”
He replied, “Yes.”
I then asked, “What year did you graduate from high school?” He told me 2007.
I told him I had received a DUI in my mid-20s and had learned quite the lesson of never to drink and drive again. He mentioned he had been going through a rough time, a loss of a parent, and that he was getting past the hardships and doing much better.
The mom in me said, “Pinky promise that you won’t ever drink and drive again.”
And he walked over to me, and we locked our pinkies and he said, “I promise!”
The deputy came back to the reception area, and she told me to please follow her, and I went inside the door and was greeted by Capt. Diez. We exchanged hello’s and I thanked him for inviting me to tour the station.
We started in the room where the 911 calls come in. The room had large monitors and desks, and the screens were constantly updating.
It was so much to take in. The people working in there were on point with everything that was going on.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement; after all, they had so many responsibilities on their collective shoulders.
We continued our tour, and I got to see the various offices, rooms and everything that it takes to run a department. The center office had so many people working at their desks, each doing their respective work at the same time with the knowledge that everything they do is part of the whole.
It was quite impressive to see that!
He showed me the helipad outside and the area where the vehicles were parked and if repairs were needed there was an onsite mechanic’s shop.
Looking at the vast area of the beautiful SCV, the hills, the homes and being able to see how everything looks from the vantage point of the station is particularly humbling.
If you think about it, it’s a truly incredible task to see what it takes to keep our city safe and continue to be considered one of the safest cities to live in.
I thanked Capt. Diez and everyone who I had the pleasure to meet that day. Afterward I went back to work and finished my day, drove home around dinner time and as I pulled up to my driveway, I looked out and saw a few stars twinkling in the night sky, and the waxing crescent moon on the horizon and in the stillness of the early evening. I was comforted by the simplicity of it all.
I thought about the men and women in law enforcement and what it really takes to do the job that they do. And if any of you are wondering if I’m writing this to stay on the good side, please note that I have been pulled over by law enforcement twice in the past 31 years.
One resulted in a traffic ticket as I made a right turn onto the San Diego Freeway northbound in the L.A. area. I was following all the other drivers assuming the second lane next to the right lane was OK to use to enter the freeway.
The second time I was making a right on a “no turn on red light” and was able to avoid a ticket, because the kind officer understood that the sign was brand new to those who were used to being able to turn on the red, and now it was suddenly not allowed.
He gave me a pass.
I’ll continue to knock on wood, so says Jen, the nice Jewish girl, and obey the laws of the land.
But there is something else to think about.
For most of us our watch ends as we slumber, but for those in law enforcement their watch never ends, for they are the true gatekeepers of our area, and I am grateful for that.
Thank you to each one of you who protect and serve! My hand is over my heart, signed Jennifer Danny, a humble citizen at best.
Jennifer Danny is a Santa Clarita resident.