January 23, the 3rd Annual Briefing Lunch was held at Las Posas Country Club. Sheriff Dean spoke to the sold out crowd about the great work the Department did in 2013 to keep our cities safe. Before sitting down to lunch guests visited with Ghera the Black Lab who works the jails. Guest also talked to Swat Team members about the tactical equipment and weapons that were on display.
Sheriff Dean addressed the overcrowding in the jails and the effects realignment is having on Ventura County. He also talked about the drug task force and its success in getting dangerous prescription drugs off our streets. The Sheriff mentioned his health and his recent heart attack and advised the crowd to get tested. He is healthy and he wants his Department to be as well. He told guests about the new CrossFit program implemented by the Department to keep our sworn and non-sworn personnel healthy. The Foundation was able to purchase equipment to support the CrossFit program earlier in the year.
Sheriff Dean told the crowd about the many other projects and equipment purchases that were made possible because of the Sheriff’s Foundation and the generous contributions from our members, sponsors and donors. For more information on how we put your donation dollars to work see the stories on the Projects page.
We’d like to thank our 2014 Briefing Lunch Sponsors, Fickewirth Benefits Advisors, Property ID, Edward & Veronica Tagliaferri, Carpenters-Local Union 150, the Ventura County Star and Mustang Marketing. Also, a big thank you to all of our table sponsors who are listed in the sponsor section of the website. Take a minute to browse the Gallery of photos from the event. It was an informative and fun afternoon. We hope to see you next year!
Meet Our New Board Members
We are happy to introduce our two new members to the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation Board. They will be a great addition as we work with our members, sponsors and donors to support the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. Please join us in welcoming them to the team. Contact our office at info@VCSheriffsFoundation.org if you wish to get in touch with any of our Board members or our Executive Director.
Scott Harris - As both founder and president of Mustang Marketing, Scott Harris has spent more than 25 years building the firm into the respected full-service marketing agency it is today, serving both well-known national and regional corporations and community and non-profit organizations.
From college campuses and political groups to Chambers of Commerce and Rotary clubs, Scott is a sought-after lecturer on a wide range of topics, including sales, marketing, business ethics and practices, and public policy.
His presence is felt throughout the community with his participation on numerous boards, including founder positions at Pepperdine University’s Seaver Board of Visitors and the school’s Career Action Program, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation. He is also a regular contributor for local newspapers, radio stations and television programs to lend business and marketing advice, and recently expanded his writer portfolio to include a book: RoadMap: A Guide to a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan.
Tom Means - Tom Means, a leading Ventura County insurance-industry expert, and local small business owner, has been selected to serve on the Board of the VCSF. Having been raised in Santa Rosa Valley and currently residing in Westlake Village, Means is passionate about supporting the Ventura County community. He is a recognized leader in a number of other locally based charities and business organizations such as Hope's Haven Children's Charity, and Provisors (Camarillo and Westlake Chapters). He graduated from the University of Southern California (USC), and later earned his MBA from California Lutheran University (CLU), in Thousand Oaks. The VCSF is pleased to be integrating his experience with the other distinguished members of the VCSF in a continued effort to enhance the impact on the Ventura County Community.
Shop With a Cop
This year we are happy to partner with the Camarillo PD and Target in the Shop with a Cop program for the holidays. One of the Foundation’s goals is to assist the Sheriff’s office with community outreach. This program teams an officer with a disadvantaged youth, $100 Target card and a chance to shop for themselves, friends and families while forming a bond with someone they might have only viewed in a negative light. You never know when you will save that one child because of the way their lives were touched by law enforcement at an early age. The children are chosen from contacts made by Deputies in the field and through our school resource officers. This year’s goal is to team up 15 children with 15 of our officers, if you wish to make a donation specifically to this program, please visit our Donation tab and write in “Shop with a Cop” in the Department field when you give your information.
Kick off the 28th Annual Share-Iff's Toy Drive
For 28 years the Sheriff’s Department has participated in another holiday program, which spans all of our jurisdictions; the unincorporated areas of the counties as well as our five contract Police Departments. We will be collecting toys for children newborn -12 years of age throughout the season with drop boxes at each of our Patrol stations. Donations are divided up, wrapped and distributed by Officers, Reserves and other Department volunteers. Recipients are chosen through contacts made in the field, youth officers and local organizations. We hope you will help us continue this long-standing tradition and drop off a gift at your local station. (Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Fillmore, Ojai and Headquarters in Ventura) Bins will be out starting the week of Thanksgiving. If you have any questions regarding these programs, contact our office at 805-492-4398.
The Sheriff's Foundation Around the County
Throughout the year the Foundation Board partners with other supporters and happenings around town as part of our community outreach. August 7th, members and guests joined us at North Ranch Country Club for a casual “Meet with the Sheriff” evening where people could visit with Sheriff Dean, ask questions and get to know a little more about how the Foundation supports the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Thank you to the Lederer’s for being our gracious hosts.
Camarillo PD had their open house this year and the Foundation was there to pass out pins and information with t-shirts and hats available for sale so that the community could wear their support of law enforcement, literally on their sleeve. The Sheriff’s Foundation was also on hand at the annual Lake Sherwood picnic to answer questions and do child fingerprint records for the community. If you are having an event and would like more information about having Foundation representatives out to do some community outreach, contact Nancy at 805-492-4398.
Thank You Tom!
We regret to inform you of the passing of one of our Board members, Tom McGrath.
Tom had been a supporter of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation since its inception. He and his wife Brianne were Lifetime members and Tom joined the Board 2 years ago.
We will miss his wisdom, quiet guidance and his smile.
Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
Thank you Tom for your service.
Badges at the Beach
On September 28, 2013, hundreds of Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation supporters decided the beach was the place to be. Our annual fundraiser this year was a “Relaxed Gala” at the Ventura Beach Marriott. Guests posed at the entrance to the hotel for a quick photo op with the Ferrari Patrol car and surfboard to get them feeling the aloha spirit of other famous badge carrying officers from Hawaii Five O and Magnum PI.
The Caribbean sounds of the steel drums and the “Green Screen” photo booth entertained the crowd as they sipped Opolo wines and shopped the tables of silent auction items generously donated by our auction sponsors. Sheriff Dean welcomed the room and gave a quick overview of the projects and equipment purchases the Foundation has been able to provide for the Department because of our caring donors. The live auction followed dinner with some unique items to bid on including, a Shoot-out with the Sheriff in the Training Center’s state-of-the-art simulator, (which was purchased by the Foundation), a guided Wild Boar Hunt with Assistant Sheriff Pentis and a dinner for 8 prepared by master chef, Assistant Sheriff Crombach. A special presentation about the Ventura County Sheriff’s Volunteer Search and Rescue Teams followed the auction. These team members volunteer hundreds of hours and save the County millions of dollars as they strive to keep Ventura County safe. We asked our guests to help us support the cost of outfitting over 100 team members with desperately needed new safety helmets. Our supporters from just that dinner got us ¾ of the way to financing the equipment.
The evening’s program ended and “Spare Parts” started playing for the partygoers dancing pleasure. A great time was had by all!
Please support our generous event sponsors and auction donors because of them the evening was a huge success and the Foundation will be able to grant funds to many upcoming projects.
Thank you to our guests and we hope to see you at the annual Briefing lunch in January. Details to follow in our next newsletter.
Search and Rescue Teams Save the Day
The Ventura County Sheriff's Office has seven all-volunteer Search & Rescue Teams; three Mountain Rescue Teams, the Mounted Posse, the Medic Team, the Dive Team and the K9 Search and Rescue Team. On many occasions the SAR Teams work with our Air Unit. Out of the 679 flights taken by our yellow helicopters in 2012, 191 were Search and Rescue missions and 107 were Medivac operations. To stranded or lost hikers, people in need, or someone going through a medical emergency, these teams are angels. We thank them for their dedication.
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Dining With the Dogs!
Over 600 people attended the 3rd Annual Dining With the Dogs event at the Camarillo Ranch House. Canines were everywhere!
The day benefitted the Ventura County Sheriff's K9 Unit, the Ventura County Sheriff's K9 Search and Rescue Team and the National Police Dog Foundation. Guests were treated to exciting K9 demonstrations throughout the day, and endless photo opportunities as the dogs and their handlers strolled the grounds.
Dinner, auctions, music from "Caught Red Handed" and interactive displays from other unit's, including Search and Rescue and the Bomb Squad, filled out the afternoon as Sheriff Dean welcomed the crowd. To see more photos visit our facebook site. A big thank you to the other K9 teams from Ventura, Glendale, Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara and CSUN who came out to support the event. We hope to see you next year!
Honoring Our Reserve Unit
The Annual Reserve Banquet, sponsored by the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation and the Thousand Oaks Police Charitable Foundation took place in April. The Sheriff's Office currently has 21 reserve officers who have donated nearly 9,000 hours of service in the past year. Reserve Officers go through a Training Academy and are held to the same standards and continuing education as our sworn officers. Each Reserve Officer is requested to donate at least 200 hours each year. At this year's banquet we recognized those who donated over 400 hours of service. Our Reserves volunteer their time and talents to give back to our communities.
Ed Jones was named our Reserve Officer of the Year. Ed has been with the Sheriff's Department for over 35 years. He serves as the Reserve Captain overseeing our West County Reserves and also works in reviewing Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits, conducting pawnbroker follow-ups, and assisting detective units. It is estimated that Ed has provided our county with approximately 17,500 hours over his career.
In addition to patrol, the Reserves also perform duties during the year which would include safety and security at events such as: The Camarillo Christmas Parade, Conejo Valley Days, Fillmore Festival, Moorpark County Days, Thousand Oaks' Persian New Year, Thousand Oaks Teen Center Youth Events and others. They also assisted in collecting and delivering the ballot boxes for last year's elections.
The reserves assist in answering calls for service in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks during critical incidents. Most recently, they were activated during the Springs Fire to assist in answering calls for service as Patrol Deputies handled the large amount of emergency calls.
Other Reserves honored at the banquet included: Terrence Theobald-730 hrs, Michael Redmond-735 hrs, Kevin Bernzott-700 hrs, Steven Barrett-519 hrs, Michael Hines-478 hrs, Clive Crook-411 hrs, Joe Lee-408 hrs, John Brown-405 hrs.
We are proud to support the Ventura County Sheriff's Reserve Unit and we appreciate their very generous efforts as they selflessly work to keep our communities safe.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation 2nd Annual Briefing Lunch
On January 24, 2013, 180 people gathered at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo to hear Sheriff Geoff Dean wrap up events from 2012 and look ahead to the challenges facing Ventura County law enforcement in 2013. But Sheriff Dean was sick and the guests were treated to a report from Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis.
Pentis highlighted the agency’s work in busting a Mexican Mafia conspiracy, talked about cost saving measures by consolidating buildings where various units are housed and told the audience about the new mobile apps to help alert the community to what is going on in Ventura County. In looking to 2013, Asst. Sheriff Pentis talked about prison realignment and the problems created with the new plans.
The audience viewed a slide presentation featuring different units and the work they do, as well as highlighting some of the projects the Sheriff’s Foundation has sponsored and funded for the department.
In the middle of the presentation was a four-minute film of an actual Search and Rescue operation that involved the air unit and a cliff rescue. You could have heard a pin drop as the audience watched the tense footage.
There was plenty of time for mingling, renewing memberships, and visiting with other Foundation supporters as our guest enjoyed the lunch and the presentation. Visit our gallery page to see more photos.
We would like to thank our 2nd Annual Briefing Lunch sponsors:
Bernzott Capital Advisors
Steve Lee & Associates
Cornwall Security Services
ET Space Systems
Steven M. Greenwood, P.C.
Cops and Criminals Event
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our Cops & Criminals Party October 13 at North Ranch Country Club. The evening started on the patio with guests exploring the Department displays from Search and Rescue, Bomb Squad and the SWAT Unit. The K9s interacted and posed for a few photos with costumed Cops and Criminals as plenty of the crowd dressed to theme. The wonderful wines from Opolo paired perfectly with the delicious appetizers while guest shopped the amazing offerings of the silent auction. A line formed almost immediately as everyone was excited to play act in front of the "Picture Screen" photo booth to get a 5x7 memento of the evening.
Sheriff Geoff Dean and Foundation Board President Amy Fukutomi welcomed the crowd to a delicious dinner where the Foundation's founder, Bruce de la Cuadra was honored for his dedication to the Department. A fun and feisty live auction followed with the two sides of the room often doing battle as our two auctioneers kept things lively and made sure we raised money to support our Ventura County Sheriff's Office. The evening ended with a few spins around the dance floor and then the planning for next year's soiree began.
The funds raised will go to support special programs and departments as well as to purchase needed equipment for the Ventura County Sheriffs Office. Thank you to our generous event sponsors, including our title sponsors, Bernzott Capital Advisors, Richard & Ellen Gilleland and Steve Lee & Associates. Please review on the sponsor page, our lists of other businesses and individuals who helped to make this evening a huge success! Visit our photo gallery to see more photos from the event.
Gourmet Food Truck & Bocce Ball Festival
Sunday afternoon, October 7, Limoneira Ranch was the place to be. Amid the beautiful orchards, surrounded by the Topa Topas, there was an amazing festival going on that had something for everyone. Guests enjoyed some of the best food trucks in the land with selections that varied from Hawaiian Fusion to Barbeque to Mexican and sweet treats. In the kid zone there were jumps and Jurassic Park adventures. You could walk on water with the bubble rollers and everyone could get their scare on if you dared to enter the Terror Truck. Up on the hill 3 live bands played the afternoon away and Elvis stopped by for a quick visit. At the center of it all, amid the latest Mini Coopers from Mini of Camarillo, was a Bocce Ball Tournament on 12 official sized courts. There were 30 teams with 12 games starting off at 11am. The final game ended at 5:30 pm and the winning team was Sheriff Geoff Dean's. Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis, Commander Brent Kerr and Fillmore Chief of Police, Monica McGrath joined the Sheriff in taking home the trophy and holding the bragging rights until next year. The $500 prize money was donated to the Sheriff’s Foundation.
Thank you to the National Association of Catering and Events for partnering with the Foundation on this event and a special shout out to the Sheriff Explorers from Headquarters, Fillmore, Ojai and Moorpark who truly helped make the day run smoothly. Again, thank you to our generous sponsors who believe in keeping Ventura County one of the safest regions in the nation. To see a list of sponsors visit our sponsor page and to view more photos, visit our gallery page.
Concert for the K9s
Mustang Marketing has been involved with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation almost since it’s inception. Besides the brilliant look they bring to all of our promotional tools, they are generous with their personal adventures as well. Deciding their property was the perfect place to build an outdoor stage with the hills surrounding Thousand Oaks as a backdrop, Scott and Randi Harris choose the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation and our K9 Unit to be the first to benefit from this wonderful, intimate venue. “Lonely Avenue” played an eclectic mix of blues and standards with some amazing harmonica. Two of the Deputies and their K9’s were on hand to do a short demonstration before the concert. All the money raised during the evening went to the Ventura County Sheriff’s K9 Unit.
Partnering with The Community to Help Raise Funds
May was a busy fundraising month as the Foundation partnered with community groups to raise money for the Ventura County Sheriffs.
May 3, the Thousand Oaks Inn and TOI Tapas Bar sponsored "A Taste of Spring." With wine tastings from Opolo, Brander, Fess Parker, Alma Rosa, Gainey, Jaffurs and Cantara, Beer tastings from Ventura Surf Brewery, Bitburger and Paulander and last but not least, gin from Hendrix, the evening was spirited! There was live music and a photo booth from The Wedding Music DJ’s, amazing decorations from Creative Party Concepts and Balloons from Balloon Bring It that just just screamed “Spring”. Thank you to all participating vendors and Felix and Laura of the Inn who donated their products and their evening in support of the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation. Fun was had by all.
May 5th, the Foundation partnered with the Camarillo Rotary and the Camarillo Boys and Girls Club to raise funds for the three groups. The evening event was the 42nd Annual “Viva la Comida”. Cinco de Mayo was the perfect night for enchiladas, margaritas, family fun, entertainment and community. Thank you to our partners and the amazing volunteers from the Camarillo Rotary who made sure everyone who attended will be back for the 43rd annual enchilada feast.
The VC Sheriff's Foundation is honored to work with the many wonderful groups and businesses in Ventura County who join us in our mission to support the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
Welcome to Our New Board Member
Tom McGrath joined the Board of the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation this April.
Tom was born and raised in Oxnard California on his family's citrus and row crop ranch. Mr. McGrath attended both St. Mary's College in Moraga, and California State University at San Luis Obispo majoring in business and agribusiness management.
After serving two years in the Army, Mr. McGrath joined the family farming operation in 1969. For the past twenty-five years, Tom has been involved in all phases of growing, harvesting and marketing strawberries, citrus and vegetables.
Tom is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program and a former President of the Ventura County Farm Bureau.
In April of 1995 Tom joined AG Land Services as a partner, there he oversees the farming of approximately 2,500 acres of lemons, avocados and oranges in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Tom is married with four daughters and he resides in Fillmore.
We are happy to welcome Tom to the Foundation and we are looking forward to working together..
We Will Miss You, Hanno
We mourn the loss of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department K9, Hanno vom Haus Saltztalblick. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with his handler and partner, Senior Deputy Scott Duffner.
Lunch With the Sheriff
On January 19, 2012, the Foundation held its first annual "Lunch With the Sheriff" at North Ranch Country Club. The 150 people in attendance listened to Sheriff Dean talk about the Sheriff's Office, the Department’s needs for the year ahead and the contributions from the Sheriff’s Foundation.
Sheriff Dean reported, “One of the department’s big challenges is the drug trade. It is growing everywhere, and for the Southern California region, we were the No. 1 agency for seizures of narcotics and marijuana plants. We arrested nine people, most of them Mexican nationals that the cartels paid to come up here to grow the plants; guns and illegal money come along with them.” The Sheriff went on to explain that the areas where the plants are grown are devastated for years to come because the illegal fertilizer used contaminates the soil and the water. Garbage and poached animal remains litter the sights of the encampments disrupting the natural order of things. “Heroin use is increasing in the east county and the task force made numerous arrests, seizing 1,800 grams of heroin, 25 weapons and $2.6 million in cash in 2011.” The seized money will be used to pay for more narcotics enforcement, training and youth education programs.
The Sheriff said crowded county jails would continue to be a challenge this year. The transfer of inmates from state prisons to local agencies is putting pressure on the jail system and it is predicted that our jails will be at maximum capacity within three months. “It’s a difficult situation and we’re having to be creative. We have to make do with what we have. We are working on electronic monitoring programs so that we might release some people from custody,” Dean said.
Sheriff Dean also talked about the great work of some of the other Departments including the Bomb Squad, the Major Crimes Unit and the Crime Lab.
He told the Foundation members that their contributions make a difference and he thanked them for their support in 2011. The guests viewed a short video of officers training on the new Force Option Simulator purchased by the Foundation. Deputy Delpit was in attendance with K9 Dano, one of the canines who was fitted for a new protective vest and sent to advanced tracking school with funds from the Foundation.
The afternoon was informative fun, and delicious, thanks to the crew at North Ranch Country Club and the specially designed cupcakes from Sweets Surrender.
Thank you to our generous sponsors and Foundation members for their continued support of the Foundation as we strive to achieve our goal of assisting the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office with its financial and outreach needs.
We hope to see you next year at our annual luncheon.
CSI:Y - It's a Wrap!
It was a crime scene right out of the movies. On October 1, 2011 at Las Posas Country Club 230 guests looked for clues to solve the identities of the chalk victims behind the crime scene tape at the entrance to the CSI:Y event. The evening was a celebration of Sheriff Geoff Dean’s first year in office and proceeds went to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation. People from across the county gathered for wine tasting, mystery solving, dinner and dancing. Members from various Sheriff’s Departments were on hand to talk about the role they play in keeping Ventura County safe. The real CSI department helped stage the scene and answer questions about the things you see on TV. The Bomb Squad robot came out to greet the guest and the 200 lb. protective suit was on display with Sgt. Bob Garcia available to explain the equipment. Members of the SWAT Team, the Search and Rescue Team and the K9 unit were also present to describe their jobs and share some of their equipment with the guests.
The evening was a financial success and the money raised will go to the K9 unit to pay for advanced tracking school for the dogs and their handlers as well as protective vests for the two K9s who were still in need. The Dive Search and Rescue Team will purchase a new robotic arm for the Remotely Operated Vehicle they use in their deep-water rescue and recovery missions, and the SWAT Team will receive funds to purchase needed medical supplies. Additional monies will go to other programs and urgently needed equipment for the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Foundation also has an endowment fund so that we may support the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office into the future, a percentage of donations raised will be applied to the fund.
Thank you to all our generous sponsors, donors and guests.
"The Golf Course That Cares," Tierra Rejada
The golf course that cares," Tierra Rejada, gave a very generous donation to the Foundation to kick off their new Community Outreach Program. Owner, Ted Kruger said "Every round of golf played at our course helps a good cause and we are proud to support the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation as one of the first recipients in our program". Thousand Oaks Police Chief, Commander Jeff Matson was there with Moorpark Police Chief, Captain Ron Nelson to support the Foundation as Board President Amy Fukutomi and Treasurer Christina Marsden accepted the donation. The outreach program continues throughout 2012 with donations going to other non-profits in Ventura County. Tierra Rejada Golf Course is a public course located in Moorpark.
Department Dedicated Donations at the CSI:Y Event
On October 1 at the Foundation's CSI:Y event we asked our guests to help us support three Department's specific needs. The Departments we supported for the dedicated donations were; K9, SWAT and the Search and RescueDive Team. We would like to say thank you to our very generous donors. We surpassed our goals for both SWAT and Search and Rescue. For the K9 unit we received enough funds to buy the 2 vests for our K9's, so we added the goal of paying the tuition for the advanced tracking training for canines Dano and Rene.
You may choose to support a specific department with your donations by entering the department name in the "Departname Name" field when making a donation. Please click here to donate now.
Thank you for your continued support. To read about other Foundation supported projects, please click here.
The Camarillo Police Department Invites the Community to an Open House
Camarillo is one of the five contract cities where the Ventura County Sheriff's Office provides police services. July 30th the police department/sheriff's office, threw open their doors and invited the community to an open house. As Sheriff Dean welcomed the crowd he said, "Sit on the motorcycles, pet the horses, explore the bomb squad suit and robot! Your tax dollars pay for these things to help us keep you safe." And over 500 people did just that.
It was a perfect sunny day, and almost every part of the department was represented; a CSI display, a jail bus, the SWAT team and their armored vehicle, the Sheriff's Posse, kid print, and much more. The foundation team was on site to do a little community outreach with t-shirts, hats and information on how the community can help the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Dean, Assistant Sheriff John Crombach, Commander Steve DeCesari, and Captain Bruce Macedo joined Supervisor Kathy Long and Mayor Mike Morgan as they visited with the crowds, answering questions and taking pictures.
All in attendance went away with a better understanding of "their" police department.
Search and Rescue Hiking Plan
As the the summer months approach and temperatures rise, the trails and backcountry of Ventura County will become a popular destination for visitors. While the backcountry is a beautiful place, it can also become dangerous to hikers who are not properly prepared for their adventure.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all visitors to the backcountry that there are several steps they can take to help make the trip a safer outing. To assist with pre-trip planning, the Sheriff’s Office has provided a “Hiking Plan” document that can be completed prior to any backcountry adventure. The hiking plan includes; name(s), starting point, vehicle description, destination, equipment list, length of trip, and emergency contact information. Use the link below to downlad and complete the form.
Once completed, the hiking plan should be given to a family member or friend prior to departing on your trip. In case of emergency, the hiking plan is a useful tool for Search and Rescue members to use when attempting to locate injured or lost subjects in a large geographical area.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation is happy to introduce our two new members to the Foundation Board, Ron Polanski and Bill Slaughter. We look forward to working with them and appreciate their service.
Ron Polanski is the senior partner of the Polanski Bourne Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. He has been a Financial Advisor since 1975, when he began his career with Dean Witter. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Advisors in 2009, he spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley. Ron believes in giving back to his community. Past activities include: past-president and board member of Kiwanis International of the Conejo; founding member of the Alliance for the Arts; 4 years as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Thousand Oaks; member of the Hospice of the Conejo board of directors; past member – Thousand Oaks Rotary club; and six years on the Foundation Board of CSU-Channel Islands including five years as the chair of the Finance Committee. He lives in the Santa Rosa Valley area of Camarillo with his wife Betsy and their two dogs; Maxwell and Honeybear. He enjoys golf, fly-fishing, sailing and barbequing.
Raised in Santa Paula, Bill Slaughter currently resides in the Upper Ojai area with his wife, Rain Perry, and his two children. Mr. Slaughter has been a trial attorney for over 30 years and is a founding partner of the law firm Procter, Slaughter & Reagan, LLP in Ventura, California. He has volunteered his time over the years to a variety of causes including the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club, and is a former member of the Santa Paula Rotary Club. A life-long climber and outdoor sports enthusiast, Mr. Slaughter has participated since the mid-1980s as a member of the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Team. It is a part of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. He has served as the Captain of this mountain rescue team for the last 10 years. In that capacity, he participates in and manages Search and Rescue activities in Ventura County and across California.
We welcome Ron and Bill and look forward to working with them into the future.
Sheriff Dean's First 100 Days
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation brings you an interview with Sheriff Geoff Dean in commemoration of his first 100 days in office. Sheriff Dean was sworn in January 3, 2011 after winning the first contested election in 36 years.
In his interview with Maria Sanchez, Sheriff Dean discusses budget cuts, his new Executive staff, the brave people who work in the Department and how proud he is to serve the people of Ventura County.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation assists the Sheriff’s Department by providing financial support for equipment and programs not covered in the Department’s budget. We also promote civic spirit and awareness in support of law enforcement and public safety. We hope you will join us in our mission by becoming a member or a donor. For more information on the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation, or to become a member, please visit; www.VCSheriffsFoundation.org, we look forward to welcoming you to the team.
Enjoy the interview with Sheriff Geoff Dean:
Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Teams and the Helicopter Aviation Unit, Rescue a Large Group of Hikers Lost During Ventura County’s Last Storms Reported by Captain Dave Kenney
On 03/20/2011, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls of overdue hikers in the Ventura County backcountry. It was quickly determined that many of the missing were from a group called the “Los Padres Sierra Club.” on an overnight camping trip in the Los Padres National Forest. The number of missing club members was believed to be around 20 to 30 members.
As the information developed further, it was learned that this group of hikers set out into the forest on Saturday morning, 03/19/2011, in the face of the on-coming storm. The club then split into three separate groups, with each group being led by a Sierra Club “team leader” and each group hiking in a different area of the forest. The information as to exactly where these three groups planned to hike was limited. According to the reporting parties, their plan was to spend the night in the mountains and then hike out Sunday morning.
Sheriff’s personnel were able to obtain vehicle information from concerned family members, so Search and Rescue (SAR) resources were immediately deployed to try and locate the missing vehicles at the various campgrounds and/or trailheads that dot the area. A Sheriff’s helicopter was also dispatched to assist with the search, however the helicopter was unable to access the mountain areas due to the high winds, rain and poor visibility generated from the powerful storm system.
The Upper Ojai Mountain Rescue Team was able to locate several vehicles believed to belong to the Sierra Club hiking parties in the areas of Lion’s Camp and Potrero John. The SAR Team checked the immediate area around these locations, however they were unable to hike down the trails due to swollen and treacherous water crossings that had developed due to the heavy rains and large amount of storm run off. As a result, and due to safety concerns, the decision was made to suspend further rescue operations until the next morning.
As the Ojai SAR Team was leaving the area, the SAR Team Captain (Bill Slaughter) noticed some lights coming from a ridge top. The area where the lights were coming from was on top of a steep cliff. Believing the lights to be associated with some of the missing Sierra Club hikers, a ground based search and rescue operation was immediately initiated. Members of the East Valley Mountain Rescue Team responded to assist the Ojai SAR Team with the rescue. SAR members were given assignments to try and access the area on foot. At about 11:00 PM, SAR members made contact with (4) four of the missing Sierra Club members – all of whom were in a very precarious situation. The four members explained that they had experienced heavy rains all night on Saturday night, so they set out first thing Sunday morning to try and make it out of the backcountry. As they tried to hike out, the four individuals found that they were no longer able to cross the water crossings, so they abandoned their tents and backpacks and attempted to scale a ridgeline to make it to Hwy 33. They soon became very tired and very cold.
The Ojai and East Valley SAR Teams had to rig safety lines across the water crossings, as well as a waterfall, and then secure each individual in a harness system in order to pull them safely across the dangerous water and steep terrain. All four Sierra Club members were suffering from exposure to the cold and were subsequently transported by ambulance to a local hospital. During the rescue efforts, one SAR member received minor injuries that required later treatment at a local Urgent Care facility. The rescue efforts to locate the remaining members of the Sierra Club were suspended to the following morning.
On Monday morning, 03/21/2011, the Sheriff’s helicopter launched at 6:45 AM, in hopes of locating the remaining members of the Sierra Club. A second group of Sierra Club members were found in the Middle Lions Camp area. These individuals were also unable to cross the water crossings that had swollen to dangerous levels due to the storm. The helicopter crew was able to land and load (9) nine individuals onto the helicopter, and then flew them out of danger and back to their cars. No injuries were reported in this second group. The Sheriff’s Helicopter then located the last group of Sierra Club members in the area of Middle Matillija. This group was also trapped by the swollen water crossings. The helicopter crew was not able to land, therefore 100 ft. hoist rescues had to be performed on each one of these (6) six individuals. The Sheriff’s Aviation Unit was then able to determine that all of the missing Sierra Club members were accounted for.
In total, (19) nineteen Sierra Club members were rescued, requiring over 239 man-hours and 3.6 helicopter hours.
When storms move through our area, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Aviation-Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind all residents of the dangers that accompany this type of weather.
Please refrain from entering the backcountry until after the storms have long passed.
As the local mountains and hillsides reach their saturation points, the chances for flash floods, mudslides, and large amounts of storm run-off in the local drainage channels increases dramatically.
Always notify a friend or loved one of your plans and location when entering the wilderness. If you deviate from your hiking plan, be advised that if no one knows where you are it is going to seriously delay emergency response in the event you need help.
Do not attempt to cross moving water - either on foot or in vehicles. Normally shallow water crossings become very hazardous during heavy rains as the water flows increase suddenly and without warning.
The increased water flows in the local drainage channels can be very attractive and luring to children and young adults. A simple slip and fall into this fast moving water often proves to be fatal, even to the best of swimmers. Please ensure that your children are admonished on the dangers of the fast moving water and told not enter any of these areas.
Increased surf activity at the local beaches is another hazard that draws people to the shoreline to view the large waves and heavy surf. Please do not enter the water or venture out onto the jetties or rocks along the local beaches. Large waves are unpredictable and past incidents have taught us that getting washed into the heavy surf often proves to be fatal, even to the best of swimmers.
Welcome Sheriff Geoff Dean
On January 3, 2011 the 19th Sheriff of Ventura County was sworn into office. In front of a crowd of over 500 well wishers including former Sheriffs, John Gillespie, Larry Carpenter and Bob Brooks, Sheriff Geoff Dean took the oath of office.
Geoff Dean is a lifetime resident of California. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Simi Valley, he has lived in Camarillo for the past 18 years. Geoff is a 32-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. Prior to being elected as the 19th Sheriff of Ventura County he commanded three of the four divisions within the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Dean has worked varied assignments throughout the Department including commanding the SWAT Team, Chief of Police for the City of Moorpark and overseeing Internal Affairs.
He is involved in various community activities including Camarillo Noon Time Rotary, the Board of Directors for Casa Pacifica home for abused kids and the American Cancer Society’s Community Council to mention a few. He has been married to his wife Marlene for the past twenty-three years. Marlene is a lifetime Ventura County resident and a mathematics professor. He has two children; Lindsey 22, who is a college senior, and Andy 19, who is a college freshman. Geoff holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University Northridge, a Masters Degree in Management from Cal Poly Pomona and is a graduate of the California State Peace Officers Command College.
Following Sheriff Dean’s swearing in, he in turn, swore in his new Executive Staff, Assistant Sheriff John Crombach and Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis. For more information on the Executive or Command Staff, please visit www.vcsd.org.
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