Last month, the Oxnard Leadership Class of 2023 experienced Public Safety Day, which included lunch with County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko and meetings with Oxnard Police Department, Oxnard Fire Department, Ventura County Probation Agency, and Ventura County Sheriff's Department. The jam-packed day was coordinated by Tom Cady, WVCBA Board Member and Former Assistant Chief of Police of Oxnard.
Oxnard PD hosted the group in the morning at its headquarters in Downtown Oxnard with a timely presentation about body-worn cameras from program Administrator Corina Gardner and a general overview from Community Affairs Manager Paul Carganilla. Fire Chief Alex Hamilton also addressed the group highlighting major challenges for his department, including extreme weather events and illegal accessory dwelling units (ADUs). He shared that 80% of their fires emergencies had non-functioning or missing smoke detectors.
After an up-close look at police and fire vehicles with officers and firefighters, the group traveled to OPD's Sturgis Annex to meet with Special Operations Commander Tim Kelley and two SWAT team members to understand legislative challenges, use-of-force options, SWAT equipment, and watch an Axon Taser 7 demonstration.
Then the Leadership class had lunch with Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko at WVCBA's Oxnard conference room. He highlighted the new Family Justice Center in Oxnard that will be named after the late Carmen Ramirez, as well as his office's multi-tiered approach to combat the fentanyl crisis and opioid deaths in the County, which have skyrocketed in the past three years.
The afternoon was held at the County Government Center where they first met with Chris Modica of the County's Probation Agency to understand the impact of public safety realignment (AB109) to county jails and probation departments since 2011. Then, after a welcome from Assistant Sheriff Andrew Salinas, the group got a preview from Assistant Sheriff Shane Matthews of the new Todd Road Jail Health and Programming Unit designed to help inmates with mental health or severe medical issues.
To close the day, the Leadership class was challenged by Patrick Maynard, Emergency Services Director of the County's Office of Emergency Services, to create the organizational structure for a large community event in the imaginary city of Pleasantville. The exercise highlighted all the safety and logistics his department has to consider for every large, public event that happens in the County, such as the Ventura County Fair.
Many thanks to coordinator Tom Cady and all of the presenters that made the day possible and who were so generous with their time. For further information about the Oxnard Leadership Program, click here.