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Victorville sheriff's captain to retire
West Valley Detention Center captain to replace Yoder
VICTORVILLE • Don Yoder announced he will retire as San Bernardino County Sheriff's Victorville station captain to take a police chief position outside of San Bernardino County.
Yoder will step down Jan. 26, and Capt. Sam Lucia, of West Valley Detention Center, will succeed him, according to the Sheriff ’s Department.
“The opportunity opened up. You know when it’s time,” Yoder said. “And you are giving other people within our department an opportunity to grow.”
The 51-year-old said he cannot discuss the details of his next job until it is approved and officially announced by his new employer in the next few days.
Yoder became the Victorville station head in June 2011 after former Capt. Cliff Raynolds retired. Just several months after he took over, Yoder reinstated the retail theft and DUI enforcement teams in Victorville.
“We figured that if we targeted those areas, it would drop our crime rate,” Yoder said.
Having worked for the Sheriff ’s Department for the past 27 1/2 years, Yoder said his best memory in Victorville comes from the people he worked with on a daily basis.
Yoder formally announced his retirement and introduced 47-year-old Lucia to the Victorville City Council during Tuesday’s public hearing.
“It’s a dream come true,” Lucia said. “It’s extremely humbling and I’m honored.”
Lucia is a 39-year Victor Valley resident. Married 22 years to his wife, Betsy, Lucia raised their four children in the Victor Valley.
He attended Mariana Academy’s elementary school in Apple Valley and then went to Hesperia Christian School. He graduated from Victor Valley College before he began his career with the Sheriff ’s Department in 1989.
He was transferred in 1991 to the Victorville station, where he spent the next seven years.
Here turned to Victorville in 2002 as a sergeant. He also served as a countywide crisis hostage negotiator.
He’s been captain at the West Valley Detention Center since March.
Lucia said he will wait to talk about particular issues facing Victorville until he gathers more information.
“We will always pay attention to big things, but what’s important to me is a quality-of-life issue,” Lucia said. “One of my pet peeves is graffiti. It’s a quality-of-life issue. It’s ugly.”
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