[KHTS] – Forty-two years ago, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station moved to its current location in the Los Angeles County Civic Center in Valencia, but the Sheriff’s Department’s presence in the SCV goes back much farther than that, to a handful of deputies and humble beginnings.
Back in the days when Newhall was nothing more than the rural outskirts of Los Angeles County, deputies from the Sheriff’s Department would ride their horses north from downtown Los Angeles to deal with criminals in the area.
Eventually, the department decided to establish a local law enforcement presence in the Santa Clarita Valley. In July of 1926, the Newhall Substation was formed, at the corner of 6th Street and former San Fernando Road.
At the time, there were less than 10 men on staff; Deputy J.E.B. Stewart came to open the station and was joined by seven other deputies.
“The station will be open all the time with two men on duty. The force includes deputies Howard, Fox, Ernst, Stockwell, Knus, Nester and Aikens,” wrote then Signal Editor Dad Thatcher, as quoted by Leon Worden of SCVHistory.com. “The new officers are a jolly bunch of fellows, and very pleasant to meet–unless you happen to be transacting your business with them from the wrong end of a sawed-off shotgun.”
When the Sheriff’s Station outgrew their small space in Newhall, they moved into their current home on Valencia Boulevard in 1972.
Gerald Enger was the first captain in the new location, according to Estelle Foley, who has been the station historian since 1996.
The Valencia station was state-of-the art when it opened, has the deputies and civilian staff have continued to outdo themselves in improving the area and making the community safer, Foley said.
The station has also gone to some length to honor those killed in the line of duty, she said.
They planted a memorial rose garden for fallen deputies, with a plaque and picture for each one.
It’s a wonderful way to remind the families that they are not forgotten, Foley said.
Right now, she is in the process of getting memorial benches installed in the garden.
But it may also be time for the Sheriff’s Station to move on from it’s Valencia home and find bigger, newer quarters as they continue to grow and expand to keep up with the ever-expanding Santa Clarita Valley.
“Nothing has changed with the building. It’s still as old as it ever was, and it’s getting older,” Foley said. “Everything has grown, but the building stays the same.”
For more information about the history of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and other significant people, places and events in the community, click here.
Information from SCVHistory.com was used in this report.