Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dunn Named Ojai's New Police Chief

Sheriff's rotation policy replaces one veteran lawman with another

By Lenny Roberts
Bruce Norris' tenure as Ojai's chief of police is coming to an end.
City Manager Jere Kersnar said Wednesday that Sheriff's Capt. Chris Dunn has been appointed as Norris' replacement effective Sept. 22.
Kersnar said the decision to approve Dunn was his, noting that members of the City Council do not have input into the selection process.
"The Sheriff's Office has assigned him here," Kersnar said, "and I appoint department heads."
Dunn, a Camarillo resident, brings more than 20 years of law enforcement experience to the position of Ojai's top cop. He originally served six years in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department before being hired by Ventura County in 1994, where he has served as patrol deputy in Camarillo, Fillmore and Sheriff's Headquarters in Ventura, and in the Court Services and Major Crimes bureaus. His most recent assignment has been that of watch commander in the Sheriff’s Communication Center.
Dunn was born in Los Angeles and spent several of his childhood years living in a the rural area of Sandpoint in northern Idaho. At 13, his family moved to Camarillo. He graduated from Camarillo High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix in 2004. He is currently working toward a master's degree in emergency services management at California State University Long Beach. He enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves at 17 and remains an active member. He received a commission in the Navy on June 1, 2007 and currently holds the position of executive officer for Navy Reserve Security Forces at Naval Base Ventura County. He will assume the position of the commanding officer of that reserve unit in November.
Dunn and his wife, Gina, have two teen-aged sons, and are active in their community through coaching youth sports and the Boy Scouts of America program.
In a prepared statement, Dunn wrote, "I look forward to serving the City of Ojai and the surrounding communities in the Ojai Valley area. My wife and I look forward to spending more time in Ojai and taking advantage of the numerous events, festivals, and activities Ojai has to offer."
Norris replaced former chief Gary Pentis on March 27, 2005. Norris, a 26-year law enforcement veteran at the time, served as watch commander and captain in charge of the Technical Services Bureau, which encompasses the county's Crime Scene Investigation Unit. Norris, a Ventura resident, said he will return to the duties of watch commander at the Government Center.
Kersnar said Norris will be remembered for being responsive to the community, and for his part in implementing and enforcing Ojai's Social Host Ordinance — a policy that has since been adopted by the county and several cities.
"The department has done a good job, and Bruce in particular has been the active face of the department by addressing our crime issues as well as some of the social issues," Kersnar said.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Dunn is a fine officer, and a good man, and that he'll serve Ojai well. But would it be too much to ask for our Police Chief be from, or at least live in, Ojai? I want someone who's connected with the city, and has a vested interest and understanding of the people who live here. His children should be in school with my children, and I should see his family shopping for groceries, and attending our churches, playing in our parks, etc. As it is, despite his commendations and employment history, he reads to me as an outsider.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. His living in Camarillo makes about as much sense as Ojai city council members living in Oxnard.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't know. Ojai has done just fine for years in spite of citizens who don't have the slightest idea what they're talking about at any given moment, new arrivals who think that they know everything there is to know, and people who live outside the city limits who think that they ought to be running the town, so I guess and out-of-town cop isn't the worst thing that could happen to Ojai.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe this guy will figure out pretty soon that most of the cops out there running around, supposedly enforcing the laws, do not have a clue what the laws are! I suggest they have a 10 question pop quiz before each shift hits the pavement. I am not kidding. I am dead serious.

Anonymous said...

I agree! They are clueless.

Anonymous said...

People who hate cops are exactly the kinds of people the cops need to be talking to on a frequent basis. 99% of the people who are living here legally like the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, and could care less about the 1% who don't.

Good luck to Captain Dunn. May he carry on in the same tradition as all who came before him.

Anonymous said...

Well, looks to me like the previous comment was from this guy's mom.

I am a native Californian and my biggest connection on the receiving end of the law has been one traffic ticket in nearly 40 years of driving. On the other hand, I have had several occasions to call the local law, and have been told what I was complaining about was not a crime. A simple check into the codified ordinance of our beautiful county confirmed I was right, the cops were wrong, and they had to deal with the situation.

I stand by my suggestion that there be a 10 question pop quiz before the start of each and every shift.

Anonymous said...

To the writer of the 3rd comment...people living in the valley outside the city limits should and do have an interest in how the city of Ojai is run! Just because they are physically on the other side of an invisible line does not preclude them from conducting much of their lives on the inside of that invisible line. There has been much discussion of a valley-wide city, but my guess is those that are "outsiders" would really rather lay low and be able to park their RV in their own damn yard if they want to.

Anonymous said...

You can have an interest in how Ventura is run, too, but no one who lives in Ventura cares what you think about their town, either.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, I have had several occasions to call the local law, and have been told what I was complaining about was not a crime.

They probably knew that your complaint was legitimate, but just didn't like the way you were talking to them. You probably pulled the whole "I pay your salary!!" thing on them, didn't you?

(And, maybe you just plain call them too much and you've gotten to be a real pain. Ever think about that?)

Anonymous said...

"would really rather lay low and be able to park their RV in their own damn yard if they want to"

Is that what irritates you? I'll have my Southwind moved onto the front lawn before sunset.

Anonymous said...

Do you think they would rather I take the law into my own hands? I do not think tone of voice would be a good reason to ignore a citizen's call. Cops just plain do not like to be told they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Southwind is full of hot wind. You are just jealous because those outside the city limits do not have big brother Ojai watching.

Anonymous said...

This is getting interesting. Actually I have a relative involved in City of Ventura politics and they really DO care what outsiders think. They are smart enough to know that people other than their city residents come and spend money. They know most of Ojai residents hate shopping in Ojai and they benefit from that disdain.

Anonymous said...

Actually I have a relative involved in City of Ventura politics and they really DO care what outsiders think.

Easy to say stuff on a blog when you can't be required to prove it, isn't it?

Be that as it may, and regardless of what the Ojai Chamber of Commerce and Ojai city government thinks, the majority of people who live in Ojai don't care what outsiders think. Take a poll if you think I'm kidding. They don't hate you, but they aren't going to inconvenience themselves in any way in order to please you, either. You can bet on that.

Anonymous said...

Pretty small-minded thinking for a city whose main claim to fame and tax dollars is from tourism. As for Ventura, go to downtown Ventura on a Saturday evening and you will see that I am right.

Every one of the merchants in this small-minded little town should re-think their views that the previous comment claims is gospel as they put up their "going out of business" banner. I do not feel a bit sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

You wish the town well for as long as everybody agrees with you and you can have your own way, right? If the people who actually live here disagree with you and attempt to thwart your plans, then you wish them poverty and ruination? Does that about sum it up?

Anonymous said...

Nope. Just pointing out that they reap what they sow. They cannot keep out the out-of-towners AND expect their tourist-based economy to flourish. It is as basic and simple as that! Oh, the Inn seems to do well, but from what we hear, those people do not venture out beyond the gilded gate.

Anonymous said...

Well, this has been real, but since the original purpose of this thread was to welcome Chris Dunn to town, maybe you and I should move over to the Rambling Rants thread if we're going to continue this at all. I don't think we're ever going to change each other's minds, though. I know you're not going to change mine.

Anonymous said...

"Pretty small-minded thinking for a city whose main claim to fame and tax dollars is from tourism."

And here I thought the claim to fame in Ojai was orange farming, Krishnamurti, and the oldest tennis tournament in the country.

I also thought that the discussion in the thread was about the employment of a key figure being brought in from outside the valley -- a reasonable conversation. How did it turn into a discussion about the xenophobes of Ojai?

Welcome Officer Dunn. Despite the comments, I don't think there's a single person on this thread that wouldn't mind you living next door to them. :-)

Anonymous said...

Trust me, if a sworn officer of any department were to feign ignorance of the law because a citizen was calling for help and they felt, for any reason, like not handling the situation and it were proven, they would likley face disciplinary action

Anonymous said...

Okay anonymous, I'll trust you!

Anonymous said...

It's a Dunn deal! What matters is that we get the best person for the job, no matter where s/he is from.

Anonymous said...

OK anonymous, I'll trust you!

I'd trust anonymous as much as I'd trust a lot of people whose names I've known for years.

(Anyway, anonymous has written some of the world's best poems, homilies, aphorisms, eulogies, epitaphs, and folk music.)

The Supreme Court says you aren't required to carry ID to walk the streets of America, and a lot of the words you attribute to famous people were written by ghost writers. And, even if I knew your name I could know you for 20 years without ever finding out just who you really are. Everyone you know has a secret life, including your kids, your wife/husband/significant other, your parents, your siblings, and your friends.

Admit it: you mostly just want to know who other people are so that you can give them grief if and when you ever meet them. If you don't believe in anonymity, then start using your real name when you comment. It might not change the behavior of others, but at least you won't be a hypocrite anymore.

live free or die said...

most police are just legal gangs protect and serve themselves action speaks louder then words

Tony Montana said...

THERE ARE TOO MANY COPS IN OJAI, and because they have nothing to do they harass teenagers