The guard is changing at the Sheriff’s Service Center in Felton.
Sgt. Jim Ross, the sergeant who has overseen the San Lorenzo Valley for the past three years, has been promoted to supervise the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office sexual-assault division.
His successor in SLV is Sgt. Mitch Medina, a longtime Santa Cruz Police Department officer and sheriff’s sergeant who looks forward to working in the valley.
“I have been a detective and on patrol primarily, so this is a new challenge,” said Medina, 42. “As a patrol deputy, you’re responding to a crisis — it’s more reactive. With this assignment, you get community input and work with them to squash things before they happen.”
Medina, a Harbor High School graduate, started with the Santa Cruz Police Department in 1991. He served 14 years as a patrol officer and detective before making the jump to the sheriff’s office.
“My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner,” Medina said.
Medina lives in Santa Cruz with his family and is an assistant baseball coach for Santa Cruz High School.
With the sheriff’s office, Medina has worked on patrol, including six months in the San Lorenzo Valley; as a courtroom bailiff; as a training officer; and, for the past two years, as a patrol sergeant overseeing deputies throughout the county. He has also served on the sheriff’s SWAT team
Medina said he and Ross have similar styles, in that he, too, wants to get out and talk with people in valley towns to find out what the issues are.
“I want to be accessible to everybody,” he said.
The sergeants are friends, Medina said, and Ross briefed him on many of the valley’s ongoing needs.
Medina also said he looked forward to the upcoming National Night Out event at the Sheriff’s Service Center, which begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 7. For more details, see Datebook on Page 12.