Now, the department is back to full staff with the recent hires of officers Tim Schell and Austin Beymer and Dispatcher Alycia Schertz.
“We're very excited about all three of them,” said Chief John Weiss.
Schell, a Santa Cruz County native, attended police academy at the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium.
Weiss said that Schell, who began solo patrols approximately a month ago, comes from a family that has many connections to law enforcement.
“He’s a local fellow and we were fortunate to pick him up,” Weiss said.
Schell said that his official hire date was on April 23. After that, he trained for 5 months with a senior SVPD officer, learning the ropes of the job, as well as getting familiar with the Scotts Valley community before embarking as a solo patrol officer in September.
“It's been a great experience,” he said. “Scotts Valley is a great town to work.”
Beymer, a native of Yuba City, said he was enticed to sign on with SVPD when Sgt. Mike Dean recruited him at the police academy he was attending in Butte County.
Weiss said that he was excited to have Beymer, the top student of his academy's graduating class, on staff. He was hired June 10 and, after shadowing a senior officer, set out on his first patrol on Halloween night.
He said that he felt good about moving to the Scotts Valley area, and added that he looks forward to living near the coast.
“Everybody's been really supportive — and the community has been too,” Beymer said.
Schertz, an experienced dispatcher, was previously employed by the on-campus police department at San Diego State University.
She said that a friend in the area had told her about the job availability at SVPD when she and her husband had announced that they were looking to move closer to friends and family in Northern California.
“I love it,” said Schertz, a native of Oregon. “I've always loved the Santa Cruz area.”
She said that the transition to SVPD had been a logical one for her and her family, both professionally and personally.
“There were a lot of things that appealed to me about Scotts Valley,” Schertz said, adding that the move had also made sense for her husband, James, who has an extensive background working with conference centers.
As far as the transition from a university police department to a city's went, Schertz said that while the calls were more diverse in nature, most of the equipment was the same as what she'd used for three years in San Diego.
She said that her experience has been very positive since she was officially sworn in on July 22.
“It's a nice and friendly, small-town feel,” Schertz said. “I've really enjoyed it so far.”
Weiss said that Schell and Beymer, both 24, are recent police academy graduates and were hired during the late spring and early summer months as they neared graduation.
Weiss described the process of becoming a police officer in Scotts Valley as a 6-month police academy course, followed by 5 months of training in the field with a senior officer before being sent out on solo patrols.
“(The senior officers') job is to teach these new officers everything,” he said. “We try to give them the best foundation we can.”
Weiss said that the department was excited about the two new officers, particularly because both were near graduation when they were recruited, meaning less training expense for the city.
“We have been trying to hire laterals lately — veterans or academy graduates,” he said. “It's always preferable to find someone with the training.”- To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.