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New Sheriff in Town

Well-spoken. Well-versed. Well-received. Welcome.


Sheriff-Coroner David L. Vasquez speaks with Groveland area residents and business leaders.

Around ninety local residents and business and community leaders met and interacted with newly-appointed Tuolumne County Sheriff David Vasquez on Wednesday evening at the Groveland Community Resilience Center, the first on his whistle-stop county tour in this new role. Sheriff Vasquez, accompanied by key staff members and Community Services Unit members, shot straight from the hip as he shared his personal values, commitment to the spirit of the law and how the law assists (and sometimes impedes) his ability to serve the people, then fielded numerous questions.


Vasquez covered a wide range of topics, beginning with details on the department’s staffing, vacancies, incoming recruits and trainees from law enforcement academies. Drug traffickers targeting Tuolumne County and the increased threat of fentanyl, and the impact of laws like California’s SB2 which created new mandates for the issuance of Concealed Carry Weapon permits and public carry regulations were also discussed.


The new Sheriff, who joined the Tuolumne County Sheriff as a trainee patrol officer in 2010, packs far more than standard-issue tools and skills for the role. His resume reveals not only a stellar career in all aspects of law enforcement, but also the breadth of his knowledge of Tuolumne County, his dedication to community and youth services, and his pursuit of higher education, which includes a Master’s degree in Executive Leadership from the University of Southern California’s School of Public Policy.  


He is also a member of the California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA), California Public Employers Labor Relations Association, California School Board Association and the California Association of Tactical Officers, a testament to his commitment to the well-being of the 145 people under his command. High on his priority list is filling eight open positions on the mission-critical 911 Dispatch team. Currently, a handful of dedicated dispatchers works 14-16 hour shifts with few days off while Vasquez works to offer more competitive salaries to attract much-needed staff in several areas.


Prompted by discussion about stepped up law enforcement presence and response times in our area, Vasquez emphasized the importance of 911 calls, not only for response to an immediate need, but because resources are allocated based on call volumes. “911 Dispatch is truly your FIRST responder,” said Sheriff Vasquez. “Nobody knows you need help until you call 911.” Though it seems a bit of a Catch 22, the message is this: Resources are allocated based on call volumes. Don’t NOT call 911 because you don’t think you’ll get a response. The Sheriff was also quick to note that it is against the law to call 911 without proper cause.


Over ninety fast-moving and engaging minutes, Sheriff Vasquez made clear his passion for his work and his commitment to the people he serves. He offered to hold public forums here every six months and asked community members to contact him directly. He also asked for support and advocacy to get the appropriate resources for his department. “I need to hear from you,” he said. “And when I come to you with a need, be assured it’s a legitimate need.” 


Our community's new Sheriff is approachable, articulate, well-versed in Law Enforcement needs and challenges in Tuolumne County. He was well-received at this first public meeting, and his leadership is welcome here.


MEET THE SHERIFF and show your appreciation to our Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department (and others) at the FIRST RESPONDERS APPRECIATION BBQ on May 5 in Mary Laveroni Park. Hosted by the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce, ROOFBB, and Groveland Community Services District.


Email the Sheriff:  Sheriff@tuolumnecounty.ca.gov


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