Following the local, state and national news media on a daily basis, another horrific crime plays out; another law enforcement officer makes the ultimate sacrifice. Innocent people die in the hands of yet another meaningless active shooter when he goes on a killing spree at a local restaurant/bar establishment in southern California. This time it was Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus who was killed as he and a CHP Officer engaged the active shooter in the Borderline Bar & Grill to stop a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Twelve people were killed in this senseless crime.
Sergeant Helus was one year from retirement. Now he’ll never see that day. Nor will he see his wife or 24-year-old son, Jason again on this earth.
Reaction to Helus’ bravery and death in the line of duty has been widespread. The Los Angeles Police Department tweeted, “Sgt. Ron Helus donned his uniform yesterday as he did for the past 29 years. When gunfire erupted, the Ventura Sheriff feared no evil, rushing to unselfishly protect his community … a hero that will never be forgotten.” The Los Angeles Rams honored Helus at the home game following his death. A reminder to the community that there is support for the bravery shown by so many law enforcement officers in our communities.
President Trump also took to social media to show his appreciation, writing, “Great bravery shown by police. California Highway Patrol was on scene within 3 minutes, with first officer to enter shot numerous times. That Sheriff’s Sergeant died in the hospital. God bless all of the victims and families of the victims. Thank you to Law Enforcement.”
The community within Fresno County has felt this same loss over the years, losing deputy sheriffs from our agency in the line of duty. Protecting them and their freedoms from the evils that lurk in our society. The support is felt and is honored by law enforcement.
An emotional Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said, “Ron was a hardworking, dedicated sheriff sergeant. He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.” The sheriff said inside the bar, six off-duty officers shielded other patrons.
“It was amazing,” he said.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, 126 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in 2018 — 118 men and 8 women. The average age is 42 years old.
The men and women of law enforcement risk their lives day in and day out. Every time they say goodbye to their loved ones, they know it might be the last. It is reported that Sgt. Helus told his wife, “I gotta go, I love you,” as he responded to the call for service at the bar.
We must make sure our elected leaders are stalwart advocates for law enforcement in our communities, and that our men and women who wear the uniform are given the training and resources they need in order to do the job safely and effectively for everyone’s sake.
We will honor Sgt Helus and his family in a few months during our Peace Officer Memorial week. A grim reminder of the selfless sacrifice law enforcement officers give on a daily basis to people whom they don’t know but will lay down their life for.
The 2018 mid-term elections are coming to a close after a long year of campaigning by all candidates from the primary to general election. FDSA was involved in these campaigns, ranging from the local to the State level with support.
At the local level, FDSA became involved in supporting the appointed Auditor/Controller Oscar Garcia. Oscar took the position of Auditor, after being appointed by the Board of Supervisors when Vicky Crow abruptly resigned prior to her term being up. Oscar took over and immediately provided results to Fresno County. To date, Oscar has uncovered over $50million dollars in different accounts that have not been reconciled in years. Oscar is continuing to work on reconciling more of these accounts that are set up within Fresno County. Funny thing – Fresno County’s prior Auditor Vicky Crow could never answer the questions from the forensic auditor the FDSA hires to review the counties books each year. For years, our auditor would tell us there is some type of accounting problem based on the monies he sees in different accounts that are not being utilized. Oscar is the person we trust to balance the books of Fresno County. At the final count – Oscar was victorious over his opponent David Keyes by over ten-thousand votes.
District 2 Supervisor Andreas Borgeas opted to run for vacant State Senate District 8 seat. Andreas has been a friend of the FDSA since taking the BOS position in January of 2013. Although his being elected would create a special election for his board seat, we felt the value Andreas would bring to the State Senate level would benefit public safety greatly at the state level.
Andreas’ senate district covers 11 counties in California. Andreas reached out for help early on – in order to get in contact with the DSA association leaders in each of those 11 counties. We helped him in this venture, along with getting him in contact with a lot of the Sheriffs in those counties. Andreas was victorious in winning the seat by gathering sixty percent of the votes from his opponent. Congratulations to Andreas Borgeas who was sworn in on December 3, 2018
In other races both on the state and federal level, State Senator Andy Vidak was defeated in his re-election to District 14. Andy was defeated by Sanger City Council Woman Melissa Hurtado by a large margin. We wish Andy the best, as he was a great supporter of the FDSA and law enforcement in general.
At the federal level, Congressman Devin Nunes defeated Andrew Janz who was running against him. Congratulations to Devin. Congressman David Valadao is currently 529 votes behind TJ Cox who has declared victory for CD21. There are still some outstanding votes left to be counted. Congressman Valadao says the race can flip back in his favor until every vote is counted. Congressman Valadao has been a big supporter of the FDSA when he was an Assemblyman at the State level. David has continued that support while at the federal level. We shall see how the race finishes by Friday December 7, 2018.
We will be weighing in heavily on the District 2 Fresno County Board of Supervisor race that is a special election. The date will be March 5, 2018 to elect a new board member, unless it goes to a run-off. FDSA will announce who we choose as a candidate as soon as that decision is made.
I hope everyone has a good and safe holiday season. Enjoy time with family and friends. Never forget what is important in life and don’t let that get in the way of the everyday grind.