Patrick S. Davoren, a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has been appointed as captain to the Malibu/Lost Hills Station by Sheriff Lee Baca.
Davoren, 52, told Patch that there are three major issues on which he wants to focus in the communities he serves, which include Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Hidden Hills and Westlake Village: traffic control, school safety and disaster preparedness.
"We've got a lot of traffic-related issues out there, and that's not just drunk drivers," he said. "We've got people who speed or disregard road rules. I want to improve the quality of life so that our drivers can get from point A to point B safely."
The father of seven children, Davoren wants to avail himself to the community to promote youth and school safety, particularly in the area of cyber-bullying prevention awareness.
"Cyber-bullying and cyber-sexting is new but is becoming a problem," he said. "It used to be kids were bullied in school halls, now it includes incidents online. I will recruit experts to come down to the schools to help promote safety and awareness."
A former narcotics officer, he is very much aware of the drug problems, particularly heroine, that plague the local high schools. He says the issue affects him on a personal level as he knew Griffin Kramer, the Agoura Hills prep athlete who died in 2011 of a heroine overdose, when he was a football coach in Thousand Oaks.
"I hope to assess and beef up our narcotics resources," he said. "Plus, preaching to the parents about drug prevention is so important ... Our organized crime unit is working hard to target those responsible for getting the [illegal drugs] to the kids."
Davoren, who lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife, Mary Pat, and family, said he loves the region's wide open spaces, often hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, and plans to work closely with the fire department, CERT teams and volunteers to coordinate disaster preparedness and better communication between the sheriff's station and the residents.
"We want to be ready to go with our own first responders should an emergency occur in any of our communities," he said.
Davoren replaces Captain Joseph Stephen who was relieved of duty with pay during an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a subordinate. He was one of five candidates considered for the post and began his new assignment on March 24.
During his noteworthy career, which began at the age of 20, Davoren spent 10 years on the SWAT team as a police sniper who assisted the U.S. Secret Service on dignitary protection teams.
In 2002 he became a member of the sheriff’s narcotics bureau and was a sergeant at Malibu/Lost Hills Station. From 2006-2008, he was the station's watch commander.
"It's very important for me to be approachable and transparent to the community," he said. "I'm open for comment and discussion."