Meet the New Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Captain – Justin Diez
Justin Diez serves as the captain at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. Although newly appointed to the position in March 2020, Diez is no newcomer to law enforcement, with a career spanning over nearly two decades with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, working in various positions and previously serving as an Operations lieutenant at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station from 2017 to 2019.
“I’m back where my heart is, for those of us who live out here and work out here, it’s hard to put into words, but there’s that extra spark and commitment to the area when you live and police in the same place, “ said Captain Diez, a Santa Clarita resident of 16 years.
For Captain Diez, being an officer has appealed to him since he was young, taking inspiration from the then hit show CHiPs, a series that chronicled the jobs of two motorcycle officers cruising the freeways of Los Angeles, helping people and solving crimes. “I would watch Ponch and Jon every day and the many adventures they went on.” commented Diez. “And that’s what drew me to it, I wanted to be a motor cop”.
After graduating college in 2001, his dreams became reality when Captain Diez was hired into the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, working initially at Pitchess Detention Center. “I had just finished college. I was 22 when I was hired and started in the jails as all new deputies do… and worked there for less than a year before transferring to my next assignment.”
Captain Diez worked many different avenues within the Sheriff’s Department at various ranks; COPS Bureau (Community Oriented Policing Services), OSS (Operation Safe Streets /Gang Unit), Motors, Internal Affairs Bureau, and various patrol stations. His strong work ethic and dedication did not go unnoticed, as a lieutenant, Diez was chosen to be an aide to the Chief at the Hall of Justice.
The timing of Captain Justin Diez taking the reins of leadership at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s coincided with a global pandemic striking locally. As COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders were issued by the LA County Public Health Department, Diez, in his new role, was tasked with unique objectives. “When COVID-19 hit in March we worked very hard to ensure the safety and health of our station personnel and the SCV community. We made sure the station was up-to-date with information and had the necessary resources to navigate through this very challenging time. We were so fortunate to have the strong support. Our community members went right into action whether it was donating masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to our personnel or dropping off food.”
Although 2020 has brought it’s share of challenging times, Captain Diez feels he is fortunate to be here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“This station has always had community support, you may hear this from all stations, but to me, ours is very special. I can honestly say that the community support I’ve witnessed locally is like nothing I have ever seen in my career. It means so much to me and all our personnel.”
Despite being thrown into unprecedented times, Captain Diez and the rest of the personnel at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, are working hard to protect the community.
“The goal is two part; crime reduction and outreach to the community. The lowest crime rate in the history of the city was in 2014. In 2018 we were able to achieve a crime rate that was lower than that record, and in 2019 we were able to beat the 2018 record. Now our goal is to beat the 2019 crime rate by continuing our target specific crime reduction strategies and by partnering with the community to assist us with our efforts.”
When he is not in uniform, Captain Diez enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. “My wife has been a huge supporter to me while doing this job. She knows how important it is to me to uphold the high level of public safety here, maintaining a safe community, not only our family, but all families.”
photo by Joie de Vivre photographie
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