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Laurene Weste: Meet Capt. Paul Becker at meet and greet

Live from City Hall

Posted: August 13, 2010 7:37 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

The city of Santa Clarita, together with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department, is cordially inviting the community to attend a special open-house event on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. in the first-floor Century Room to meet the new sheriff’s captain, Paul Becker.

Becker brings nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience to our community and was named as the new chief of police following an interview process involving members of the City Council, the city manager and various community leaders in March of this year.

Becker is a Santa Clarita resident who has committed much of his life to community service and helping others. Prior to his  assignment as our chief, he served as a lieutenant for the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, overseeing the gang task force, unsolved murder team and an active murder investigations team. During his nearly three-decade career, he has served in several divisions within the Sheriff’s Department, including: Contract Law Enforcement Bureau; Transit Services Bureau — robbery and assault team; Palmdale, Avalon, Carson and Lakewood stations; as well as the Custody Operations Division for Men’s Central Jail.

Since assuming command of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department, Becker has reviewed every aspect of our service to the community. Over the last few months, Becker has made it a priority to meet with community leaders, officials in local government, school representatives and residents of the community. In this short period of time, Becker has familiarized himself with crime trends, effective allocation of available resources and especially concerns about narcotic use in the valley.

Becker has already begun implementing new gang-prevention strategies, a juvenile intervention team to address drug concerns involving our youth and an aggressive campaign to crack down on secondhand property dealers operating outside the law.

Under his direction, personnel have launched a station-automation program to better track and address local crime tips and overall response to those in need of help. Also in the works is an improved community-outreach program involving the dissemination of public information through the new Nixle system at www.nixle.com, in addition to the design of an updated emergency operations center, which will be equipped with the latest technology to assist deputies in effectively managing substantial incidents, emergencies or natural disasters. 

The Santa Clarita City Council places a high priority on local law enforcement and community safety, allocating more than $19 million this fiscal year. 

While other city departments experience cuts in funding across the board, the city’s contract with the Sheriff’s Department increased this year.

Becker is eager to meet with residents, business and community leaders and hear first-hand their thoughts and ideas for improving law enforcement in our community.

The meet and greet with Becker is free and open to the public.

Laurene Weste is the mayor of the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at lweste@santa-clarita.com. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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