Todd Deeds was five years into his career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1996 when he came to the Crescenta Valley Station, serving La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Altadena as a patrol deputy.
Working mostly evening and night shifts throughout his five-year tenure, he didn’t have much direct interaction with the community but experienced the station’s sense of camaraderie and began to acquaint himself with the local area.
“It was just a wonderful community,” Deeds recalled. “The community support is what stood out the most to me.”
On Sunday Deeds’ career came full circle when the 52-year-old father of two officially took the reins of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station as its captain. He got a welcoming introduction to the community Monday riding in the city’s annual Fiesta Days Parade.
Deeds was appointed last week by Sheriff Alex Villanueva after a lengthy process that included interviews with local officials and constituent representatives. He was among six finalists to attend a second-round interview with La Cañada Flintridge City Manager Mark Alexander and a staffer from L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office.
“It was through the second interview I got to interact with [candidates] on a more personal level and establish whether there was a rapport there,” the city manager said.
Deeds was familiar with the Crescenta Valley Station and seemed to share key characteristics with predecessor Capt. Chris Blasnek, who employed a community-first leadership style and maintained close contact with city officials.
“Everything just seemed to come together for Mr. Deeds,” Alexander said.
The Van Nuys native began his law enforcement career in 1991 as a line deputy at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles before working at the Crescenta Valley/Altadena Station from 1996 to 2001. He spent the next few years training recruits and deputies before being promoted to sergeant.
As patrol sergeant for the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s Station, Deeds attended block watch meetings and began to realize the impact law enforcement can make partnering with citizens. That understanding deepened when he served as service area lieutenant at Lynwood’s Century Station following the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
“We thought we can’t allow that to happen in our area,” he said, recalling the massive community outreach effort that followed. “It completely changed the way I knew law enforcement to be — we started to break down some of the barriers between police and the community.”
As a lieutenant for the department’s Special Victims Bureau, Deeds oversaw 60 investigators handling 4,000 physical and sexual abuse cases against children and adults each year.
He served on the board of nonprofit Children’s Advocacy Center, which works with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office to conduct forensic interviews with abuse victims and link them with vital resources, according to Executive Director Susy Flores.
“Todd Deeds was such an asset and helped to educate his detectives and educate us about what detectives need so we could work together for the wellness of children,” Flores said. “He’s always looking out for the best interests of everyone and wants to do right by everyone — he just genuinely cares.”
Although his background offered him a robust sampling of the many career paths possible within the Sheriff’s Department, Deeds said he hopes to stay put at the Crescenta Valley Station.
“I’m looking forward to serving this community,” he said. “I hope to stay here until I retire.”