Chief of Police Jay Stone spoke to the Chronicles to release information about the upcoming changes in the policing departments of the city of Santa Ramona Valley.
"The decision has been made on behalf of the Sheriff and Police departments to join as one department, under the Santa Ramona Police Department. This call for unity will not only help to increase the morale and budget but also to increase morale and greater response rate across the Valley for the safety of our citizens and tourists alike. This change is to be completed on January 1st, 2021 at which time the Chief will move to operate from the northside building with the Captain Davonte Johnson to oversee and command the operations of the southside office. We hope this will bring greater stability to the valley for all."
The budget for the former North side County Sheriff department- long an issue of contention between the two separate departments- will now be spread more equitably for the previously underfunded and budgetary challenged South side Police Department in this move to unite under one police department.
But budgets and funds are not the only cause for change and as former Governor and current Police Chief Stone remarked, there will be a look at boosting numbers in the force and more visible police presence on the streets of the city.
The Chronicles also spoke to Captain Davonte Johnson, a self proclaimed proud resident of the South side community. Captain Johnson has worked in the department since it's conception and has seen a gradual rise in rank.
What is your own personal opinion on the drive behind this unification of the two departments?
"Personally I fully follow and support Chief Stone's plans to unify our departments. I do believe we were working together pretty well overall but I am encouraged by the budget the North side has been afforded to trickle down to the South side precinct as well. I understand the need to boost numbers and encourage people to apply if they believe they can serve this city to their best abilities."