Scotts Valley works hard to maintain a full complement of community-oriented police officers. This article introduces recently hired Police Officers Seavana Patzke and Vitani Harrison. It was my great pleasure to recently spend time getting to know these two individuals.
Officer Seavana Patzke previously worked for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer in the county jail. In that role, she regularly interacted with police officers, which she found to be a positive experience. She also served as a certified training officer and occasional acting supervisor.
Her husband also works for the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff. At one time, Patzke wanted to be out on the streets fighting crime, but after her first child was born, she had a change in perspective. She is happy she can work in a quiet community like Scotts Valley; it suits her family’s needs. Before she joined the Scotts Valley Police Department, she did her homework and talked with female sergeants on the force, asking them what it was like to work in Scotts Valley.
When Patzke comes to work, every day is different. She is not a desk person; she is a go-getter and enjoys the constant interaction with other people and the good, positive connections that she is making with her coworkers and the community. She finds that people in Scotts Valley are friendly and that she likes working here.
Seavana was a swimmer in college and likes to swim at UCSC, San Lorenzo Valley High School and Cowell Beach. She also works out at a local gym to stay in shape.
After successfully completing the Police Officer Training Academy, Patzke will finish her Scotts Valley-specific field training in January. In this phase, everyone in SVPD, from officers to emergency dispatchers to administrative staff, are helping her learn how to be an Officer in our community.
Eventually, she would like to become a Field Training Officer, Canine Officer or Detective. She loves kids and teens and likes solving crimes. She would like to see more staff hired in the police department. If anyone has an interest in working in law enforcement, she says this is a great place to work with lots of support.
Officer Vitani Harrison came to Scotts Valley because he knew some community members and because he likes the feel of our city. He feels very welcome in Scotts Valley and likes smaller towns. He previously worked in security for six years protecting residential and corporate buildings in San Francisco, Dublin and San Ramon.
Harrison enjoys connecting with the community, talking with, and getting to know people. He enjoys making a positive impact. He completed his field training last month and noted that he has some great mentors in the department. He too has ambitions to become a field training officer or sergeant for the Scotts Valley Police Department.
Vitani likes to work out and he enjoys kayaking. He also hikes on local trails and he enjoys the company of his wife and father. He has volunteered at local community events, including Music at Skypark and the Art, Wine and Beer Festival.
To better understand a day in the life of a Scotts Valley Police Officer, I rode with Harrison in his patrol car for an hour as he patrolled Scotts Valley in the early evening. We traveled through commercial areas and residential neighborhoods, looking for anything that seemed amiss.
A list of specific things to watch out for is posted in the patrol car. He greeted youths in shopping areas and at the high school. Nothing serious happened during my ride-along I am glad to report. Harrison ran some license plates, checking each license plate, model and color to see if all was in order.
He pulled over two cars with flashing lights. One car had a dirty license plate that made it hard to read and the other had a brake light that did not work. Both received verbal warnings. Interestingly, when Harrison learned that one driver he stopped had a restraining order against him, he checked to make sure that the person who was protected by the order was not the other person in the car.
I am grateful that Scotts Valley has a dedicated, professional and compassionate police department, as exemplified by our two newest employees, Officers Harrison and Patzke.
Jack Dilles is mayor of the City of Scotts Valley. To reach Dilles, email [email protected] or call 831-566-3180.