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Letter: Supporting Ortiz for Napa County Sheriff

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In reference to Eleanor and Ron Stainer's April 26 letter: "Oscar is the Napa story. He grew up working the fields of Yountville with his parents, then excelled in school and sports before working for our community for more than 30 years … The leadership Oscar has provided Napa County has been exceptional and something we need to continue.”

I wanted to share my recent experience regarding an interaction with the Napa County sheriff's department and organization. A few months ago, my winery was hit by a fraudulent wine buyer, who used stolen credit cards via the internet, thus my business became the victim of online crime theft. My loss was significant.

Then, some two weeks later I received a call from a detective from the Napa Sheriff's Office, and they said it appears that I was not the only Napa winery hit by this clever cybercrime group. Our sheriff’s department investigated, tracked down the perpetrators, and, in conjunction with the Los Angeles sheriff, located the stolen wines and recovered them from a house in Los Angeles County.

I was asked to come to the sheriff's office to retrieve my recovered wines. I met with the sheriff’s detective who described how the criminals were able to place the wine order online with credit card approval, receiving shipment only later to have the credit card company decline the purchase.

The detective was incredibly well informed, knowledgeable and professional in our exchange and went on to explain a bit about the sheriff department’s approach to solving these crimes. It became obvious that the methods were expert-based, collaborative, highly effective and team-oriented.

This detective humbly shared his unit’s success and collaboration with L.A. sheriff as a combined effort of the entire department. This highly effective operational style is a collection of the department's methods, processes, routines reflecting the leadership, culture and all aspects of their work. I suspect this culture evolved through former sheriff John Robertson's clear vision of leadership, inspiration, mentorship and, to our good fortune, continues today.

I spoke to former Sheriff Robertson regarding his choice of Oscar Ortiz to lead Napa Sheriff's Office at a recent public event, and he described in detail why Ortiz had proven to be the very best choice for the job.

The Napa supervisors unanimously agreed and appointed Ortiz as the most appropriate choice to serve and protect while exercising the powers of the public trust with direct accountability to Napa's citizens. They clearly choose wisely on our behalf.

I believe that Oscar continues to operate with this situational style, assessing a situation and all the available information, then recognizing the right people and resources for each specific mission to ensure its success. It’s a leadership style of effective law enforcement work, intertwined with maintaining a close relationship with the Napa community.

His “Coffee with the Cops” program, and resurrecting the Napa Sheriff's Citizens Academy, underscores his commitment to Napa’s community. He is fully transparent in conveying the criminal justice system and law enforcement procedures within the Sheriff’s Office, strengthening community involvement while keeping Napa safe.

He was awarded the awarded the “Male Role Model of the Year” by the Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and actively participates as a board member of NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services.

I see Sheriff Ortiz as striving for a community that feels more like a neighborhood where you have to first listen, then treat the residents with trust and respect, behaving as a citizen, as part of the community they serve while sharing their fellow citizens’ interests. My vote is for Sheriff Oscar Ortiz and a continuation of the exceptional law enforcement team's performance at the Napa County Sheriff’s department.

Igor Sill



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