PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker will be retiring on Feb. 5, 2014, from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
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At several recent events, Lt. Robert Lewis, formerly the Crime Prevention Unit leader at the Santa Clarita Valley Station, has been introduced as the acting captain.
Lewis is expected to hold the interim position until Sheriff Lee Baca makes a decision regarding Becker’s replacement.
“It’s a good spot to be in as I continue to carry out the public safety and crime prevention vision of the city of Santa Clarita and the county of Los Angeles,” Lewis said, adding that since it was an interim title, his goal was to continue the progress ofBecker’s leadership until a new captain is assigned. “I want to make sure we continue in the same direction while working to keep crime rates down.”
When asked about his preliminary goals, Lewis said that with his Crime Prevention Unit background, it is his intention to re-introduce the unincorporated area Zone Leader Deputy positions, such as those in Castaic (Zone 2), and Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3), that were curtailed in early 2013.
He believes they are a significant part of the successful crime prevention strategy and the station’s overall commitment to providing the highest level of service to all our residents.
The Crime Prevention Unit was formed in direct collaboration with the city of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County under the leadership and direction of Becker, according to the station’s website.
Becker, who’s been with the station since early 2010, came to Santa Clarita from the Sheriff’s Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit based in downtown Los Angeles. Becker has been a member of the department for more than 30 years.
He’s worked with the city of Santa Clarita and various community leaders to institute a number of programs, including the J-Team, which focuses on juvenile intervention, as well as the DFYiT program, which has been a partnership with the William S. Hart Union High School District and the city of Santa Clarita.
During his three-plus year tenure, crime rates have remained the lowest compared to nearly all sheriff’s station in Los Angeles County.
West Ranch Town Council President Don Fleming, who attended a recent meeting in which Lewis was introduced as the interim captain, praised the Sheriff’s Station’s CPU initiative.
“We were excited about it — that’s good news for us,” Fleming said, who’s president of the council that acts in an advisory capacity for portions of the unincorporated areas on the west side of the Santa Clarita Valley.
“What (the zone leader program) does is, it gives the community a contact person,” Fleming said. “They’re at every one of our meetings, and they give us the crime stats and (crime reports for) what’s happening in our area.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News