The Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation may have had a new commander take charge two weeks ago, but he isn’t a new kid on the block; as a matter of fact, he lived here for 15 years and has been with the department for 25. Lt. Todd Richardson took charge of the Fallbrook command on Sept. 10.
“Fallbrook was definitely the place I wanted to be,” said Richardson. “I raised my kids here.”
Richardson served two years as unit commander of the Sheriff’s ASTREA (helicopter) and Search and Rescue division, and before that provided the leadership for the department’s rural law enforcement command. He said he has a thorough understanding of the Fallbrook area and demographic.
“My goal is for our team to continue to be more proactive rather than just responsive,” said Richardson. “Intelligence led policing is our number one focus right now. This is a direction that will be good for all of us.” The more than four dozen arrests made during last week’s Operation Cruel Summer (bust of a substantial drug/weapons trafficking ring) in Fallbrook underscored the effectiveness of intelligence led policing.
Richardson, who is one of the two original COPPS deputies appointed in San Diego County at the beginning of the community-oriented policy program, also has sizable experience with emergency operations and running incident command systems.
“I worked on the major fires in Fallbrook in one capacity or another,” he explained. “In the 2007 wildfires, I was involved in coordinating 13 platoons of personnel (676 individuals) in the North County staging area.”
Richardson is quite familiar with the sworn and clerical staff assigned to the Fallbrook substation and said, “We’ve got a very good group here in Fallbrook, so many of our guys have longtime ties to this community.” In addition, he said he is very impressed with Fallbrook’s Senior Volunteer Patrol members.
“We have one of the best senior volunteer groups in the county in Fallbrook,” said Richardson.
With the implementation of new, advanced technology in the Sheriff’s Department’s central command center in San Diego, Richardson said Fallbrook will benefit.
“It is going to help us in improving response time issues,” he said. “We are getting next generation software that will help us improve the way we assign and dispatch units; it will be very beneficial to everyone.”
In addressing ongoing challenges, Richardson said immigration issues continue to be an issue in the forefront.
“From my perspective, there are a lot of misconceptions on how we handle immigration issues; it is one of my goals to rectify that,”
Overall, Richardson said his goal comes down to one simple statement.
“I want to make Fallbrook one of the safest unincorporated communities in this county,” he said. “Our numbers are good, but there is always room for improvement.”