On Thursday evening the National Latino Research Center, & Universidad Popular, in conjunction with the San Diego County Sheriffs Department, the City of Vista, and Council Member Joe Green hosted a “Meet The New Sheriff in Town Event” in Vista. Arecela Nunez of Universidad Popular hosted the event to meet our new San Diego Sheriffs Captain for the City of Vista, Captain Greg Rylaarsdam. Mayor Judy Ritter was in attendance. Deputy Mayor John Aguilera Served along side Council Member Green and Captain Rylaarsdam on the panel to field questions.
The purpose of this event was for the community to get to know our new sheriff captain and ask any questions they may have relating to public safety and procedure. There have been several controversial incidents in the city of Vista over the last couple years. The City of Vista and their Sheriffs representatives, want to open up communications and rebuild relationships along with a sense of community. Deputy Mayor Aguilera & Council Member Green thanked those in attendance, and stated that our Sheriffs department was here to protect and serve our city. They mentioned 65% of the cities general fund budget is allocated towards public safety, which makes it a top priority.
Captain Rylaarsdam shared his history of over 29yrs serving in the county of San Diego. He came to Vista in 2010 and continued to serve in the county. He explained how the different positions in the department from being a patrolmen, to a lieutenant, helped give him a better perspective of how to do the job of Captain he is now tasked with. He said “With this new title comes a lot of responsibility” Captain Rylaarsdam wants to work with his deputies to instill a sense of community in our city. He said, “you should be treated like family, until you provide a reason not to be treated like family”.
Council Member Green spoke briefly before the captain fielded questions stating,
“When Arcela and I, organized this evening we wanted it to be informational, and relational, as opposed to confrontational.”
He asked everyone to remember that we were here to build community and opened the floor to questions. There were questions about procedures, training, mental health, skateboard laws, and the expectation moving forward. Captain Rylaarsdam answered all questions in detail. He said he wasn’t here to give excuses but to give information and answers.
The event concluded around 7:30pm and Captain Rylaarsdam stayed in the room to speak with all citizens and answer all questions well past 8:00pm.
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