A veteran law enforcement professional and retired Sheriff’s Department Captain from San Bernardino has joined the City’s administration to supervise and train Del Mar’s officers and serve as a liaison to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Don Yoder -- a 30-year lawman who rose through the ranks of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and gained experience serving cities such as the cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Chino Hills and Victorville before retiring in 2013 -- says he is determined to strengthen Del Mar’s relationship with the local Sheriff’s office while exploring how best to take full advantage of its contracted services.
In Del Mar, the title for Yoder’s part-time position is Law Enforcement Manager.
Some of his first duties have included a review of policies and procedures for Del Mar’s Park Ranger and Parking Enforcement Officers. Aligning the City’s policies with industry standards and best management practices is one of Yoder’s primary goals. Yoder said he has spent a lot of time learning from Del Mar Ranger Adam Chase.
In upcoming months, Yoder and the management team expect to bring forward recommendations to improve the City’s public safety functions.
Yoder is a strong believer in community policing, wants to see Sheriff’s deputies walking the beat and is ready to join them on foot patrols. Expanding home security and business checks, facilitating locally-based neighborhood watch and senior volunteer patrol programs and launching a National Night Out community-building program are all on Yoder’s to-do list.
The Town Hall could serve as a training room for the local programs. Also in the Civic Center, deputies can work closely with Yoder and take advantage of a computer and desk space that is reserved for them.
For years, City leaders, committees and the public have explored how to leverage resources and improve the coverage and cost of law enforcement. This fiscal year, the City’s contract with the Sheriff’s Department will total more than $2.5 million. That’s nearly 19 percent of the City’s annual General Fund budget and the most expensive service the City of Del Mar pays for.
The Sheriff’s contract includes one deputy assigned to Del Mar 24 hours per day, seven days a week; a 40-hour-per-week traffic deputy; one detective, and access to the Sheriff’s crime lab, jails, SWAT team, helicopter, crisis communication team and management.
Yoder is familiar with all of these functions. His career in San Bernardino included assignments as a Sheriff’s deputy, detentions lieutenant, administrative services commander, SWAT commander and Chief of Police for the City of Victorville.
To develop community relations in Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga, Yoder created committees for community oversight, African American and Hispanic business leaders, and clergy.
He is the past chairman of the Victorville Police/Fire Athletic League, and in that role worked with community leaders to mentor at-risk youth. He is an active missionary and has served on mission trips to Honduras, Guatemala, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Jordan and Israel.
Yoder is a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with concentration in organizational leadership, from National University.
Yoder is married and has two grown daughters and one granddaughter.