ABout the candidate
Though I grew up in a less than idyllic home, I found support and mentorship through a local scouting troop. The adventures I had with them in my youth developed my love for the backcountry. I found peace and the feeling of safety in the wilderness that I didn’t find anywhere else.
At 17, I left home and enlisted in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps grew me up into the man I am today and redirected my life. After 6 years serving my country, I received an honorable discharge as a Sergeant.
In 1991, I joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. My early assignments included working as a gang deputy and patrolling the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale. My path within the department changed on December 15, 1991 when I was assigned to the Antelope Valley VIDA (Vital Intervention Directional Alternatives) Program, a 16-week program for at-risk youth and their families.
The entire countywide VIDA Program was cut in February 2003 due to budget cuts. I was later recruited by Operations Bureau to re-develop and re-implement the VIDA Program and by the summer of 2005, the academically based version of VIDA was rolled out. In 2006, I was appointed to Sergeant and given the supervision of the entire countywide VIDA Program. I've proudly worked in VIDA and with the countless families seeking help from the program for 19 1/2 years.
My work with at-risk youth has been recognized by the US Congress, the Governor of California, and the California State Assembly. I received the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Exemplary Service Award and the Distinguished Service Award for my efforts in changing how delinquent youth are handled in the juvenile justice system. I was also the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy of the year in both 2005 and 2006.
Helping families through VIDA over the years, I felt moved to create a lasting resource not only for these families, but for families everywhere. In 2014, I published the award winning book, Love Loudly: Lessons in Family Communication, Crisis, and Hope, a book to serve as a parenting guide in changing the way adults communicate with their kids.
Now, as I near the end of my 29 year career with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, I aim to bring my knowledge and experience of helping and healing families to my district here in California, taking their voices to Congress.