Dozens Of Santa Clarita Residents Have ‘Coffee With The Captain’ -- July 8, 2015

Many get coffee with their co-workers or to catch up with an old friend, but Sheriff’s Station leaders are meeting with Santa Clarita Valley community members for “Coffee with the Captain.”

Nearly two dozen Valencia residents met with Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Roosevelt Johnson and Valencia Crime Prevention Unit Zone 5 Leader Deputy Brian Heischuber at the Starbucks in Granary Square Wednesday morning. Other Sheriff’s Station officials including the Crime Prevention Unit leader, Lt. Byron Wainie, attended the event as well as city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

“The Santa Clarita Valley is split up into eight different zones and it’s my goal to get out to every zone and talk to the community members,” Johnson said. “I just started up again this year. Last year, I went through all eight zones.”

This was the second “Coffee with the Captain” so far this year, with the first being held a couple weeks ago in Canyon Country where more than 25 community members met with Sheriff’s Station officials, Johnson said.

“These events are important because of my goal to make sure that we are doing community engagement — that it’s important for the community members to see that their Captain here at the Sheriff’s Station is out and about, meeting with the community members to find out what their specific concerns are, allow them the opportunity to meet their zone leader deputies and also to get some feedback for how we are doing and how we can improve service delivery to the community,” Johnson said.

The most common topic discussed is traffic, Johnson said.

“We’re doing what we can,” he added. “The station has a pretty robust traffic program, the city just added another motor deputy during the budget cycle for this year and we’re doing what we need to do to make sure to keep up enforcement with the traffic laws here in the community and to ensure that traffic flows smoothly.”

Other topics discussed were red light cameras, changes with Sheriff Jim McDonnell, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s $3.2 billion budget, how the Department is hiring more deputies, how SCV Sheriff’s Station personnel are trained weekly and how law enforcement officials handle mental health-related situations.

“The deputies have been terrific,” one Valencia resident said, referring to cases where SCV Sheriff’s deputies aided his son, who is recovering from a bike crash and is suffering from mental illness. “The time and the money that goes into it, we’re really grateful. I just wanted to say thanks.”

“Continue to call, we’re here to help,” Johnson replied to the man.