Sheriff’s Lt. Julie Sutton retires after 32 years with department
By Karen Brainard
After 32 years with San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Julie Sutton is retiring, effective Aug. 30.
“It’s been a huge part of my life and I feel very fortunate to end it here in Ramona,” said Sutton.
The 54-year-old lieutenant was assigned to the sheriff’s Ramona substation in August 2010, after working at the sheriff’s Santee station.
Sutton said she will be replaced by Lt. James Bovet, a Ramona resident, who works at the Fallbrook sheriff’s substation. His first day at the Ramona post will be Sept. 7.
Although she had been thinking about retiring, Sutton said her decision was motivated by her parents’ needs. Her 84-year-old mother is having major back surgery and, with her father at age 91, home care was a concern.
“I need to be there for them,” Sutton said. “After 54 years, it’s the least I can do.”
A resident of Lakeside, Sutton said her time in Ramona “has been wonderful.”
“The community here has been so accepting of me,” she said. “In the community, everyone is very friendly.”
Having worked with organizations in town on public safety and crime, the lieutenant said, “I think it’s been a good relationship.”
Her background with the sheriff’s department has included heading a variety of programs and special events. She served as coordinator of the sheriff’s volunteer program and worked on the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), Explorer, Senior Volunteer and Chaplain programs. Also during her years with the department, Sutton worked at the Las Colinas and George Baily Detention facilities
In addition to Ramona and Santee, she worked at the Poway, Vista and San Marcos stations.
What is unique at the Ramona substation, Sutton said, is that many of the deputies live in town.
“That’s not always the case. There’s a genuine caring for the community…because they live here,” she said.
There are 25 sheriff’s department employees at the Ramona substation that was remodeled last year under her watch.
“I’ve been part of the remodel. I was instrumental in securing the library space,” Sutton said, noting she worked on the project with Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
The additional space creates a safer workplace by incorporating an armory where deputies can clean and secure their weapons, an evidence room, and individual workspace for each deputy, she said.
“It’s a better working environment for deputies to perform duties,” said Sutton.
Crime in Ramona, as in most places, seems to run in cycles, said the lieutenant.
“For the most part, the crime that occurs here in Ramona are people from Ramona,” she said.
Many of the same names keep coming up, she said, and law enforcement can often project a crime instead of waiting for it to occur.
Asked what she will miss about the Ramona station, Sutton responded: “The camaraderie, the professionalism.”
During her time in Ramona, Sutton has worked on wildfire preparedness and evacuation.
“I think a lot of people are better prepared,” she said. “I think we’re doing a better job on educating people how to be prepared.”
In addition to helping her parents during retirement, Sutton said she is also looking forward to being a first-time grandmother as her son, Tedd, and his wife, Kylie, are expecting a child in March. Sutton and her husband, Jim, also have two daughters: Victoria, a special needs young adult who is in her last year at El Capitan High School, and Emily, who attends Grossmont Community College, pursuing a career as a speech therapist for special needs children.
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- Sheriff’s Kidzwatch program teaches children about safety
- Sheriff’s department is forming advisory panel in Ramona
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