In January, Police Captain Ron Nelson will be moving on to another assignment within the Sheriff's Department after serving five years in the city of Moorpark.
During his tenure as police chief, Moorpark saw a 34 percent overall drop in crime, according to the Sheriff's Department. One of the biggest complaints the police department received at the time was about graffiti. In 2007, there were 212 graffiti reports in the city; So far there have been only 43 reports.
Mayor Janice Parvin credits Nelson for the decrease.
"It's all Ron and his team," she said. "He's that one in a million. It's so wonderful to have a person who cares so much about the community and who you can call a friend."
Nelson passes the credit along to the people working at the police station for the decrease in crime.
"Our crew here is really committed. We have a great team. And we have a dedicated group of volunteers that I'm very proud of," he said.
Focusing efforts on drugs has helped, he said, because "drug users often are the ones creating the problems."
He also said focusing on smaller or more simple issues like reminding people to lock their car doors and keep valuables out of sight help as well.
"I think when you get into some of the safer communities, people get complacent," he said. If you take care of the little things, he said, the rest follows.
Nelson began working as a patrol deputy assigned to Moorpark in 1989 for four years before being assigned as a detective in the city. After working for serveral years as a detective and patrol supervisor elsewhere, he returned as the administrative sergeant for two years. He also lived in Moorpark for a number of years before moving to Simi Valley, where he lives now.
Nelson has not yet been a assigned a new position. He said his first love is working at patrol stations but because he's been doing that for some time, his best guess is he'll be assigned a different type of role.
While the mayor said the city was fortunate to have him for so long and she's sad to see him leave, "Nobody wants to hold Ron back from what he can achieve," she said.
Replacing Nelson will be Capt. Steve Wade. Wade has been with the Sheriff's Department for more than 33 years and currently manages the Investigations Bureau at the East County Sheriff's Stations as well as the Special Enforcement Unit assigned to the city of Thousand Oaks.
He has many years of SWAT and K-9 experience, as well as managing the Sheriff’s Headquarters Patrol Station and the Pre-Trial Detention Facility, where he managed hundreds of personnel and multi-million-dollar budgets.