Retiring Lt. Reynolds honored by Chamber as Police Officer of the Quarter

December 28, 2011
Santa Paula News

Lately it seems when a Santa Paula Police Department officer receives the Chamber of Commerce award for outstanding service, it is rife with meaning.

At least to Chamber President Chris Sayer, who asked Chief Steve MacKinnon at the December Good Morning Santa Paula, “Is it true when you give the award out that means they’re retiring?”

“Now,” MacKinnon laughed, “when I say I’m giving them an award they get very nervous.” Lt. Troyce Reynolds, honored as Police Officer of the Quarter, wasn’t nervous - although he is retiring from the department.

MacKinnon said, “In some ways this is kind of an end of an era,” with now retired Lt. Carlos Juarez and Reynolds leaving the SPPD with more than 60 years combined agency experience. Reynolds’ retirement “will close a certain chapter” in the SPPD and the community.

MacKinnon worked closely with both officers, but in Reynolds’ case “I convinced him to slowly leave, ride into the sunset on his horse.... Thirty years anywhere as a police officer is really a feat,” considering the innate stress of the job and the strain staggered shifts and holiday duty put on families.

“I constantly wince when I hear all those stories Troyce was involved in during his career; it’s amazing,” joked MacKinnon, “that the city was not bankrupt! During the course of my tenure here I was Troyce’s” fourth chief, and “understand what others felt.”

Reynolds, a sergeant when MacKinnon was hired in 2005, was promoted lieutenant about three years ago. “He and Carlos were really a masterful management team,” dealing with critical budget issues while still maintaining day-to-day operations.

“Officers that put in a lot of time into the Santa Paula Police Department” do so at a lower salary than offered by other agencies. Yet when they have the opportunity to move on, they very often “stay here,” proving, said MacKinnon, that there’s “more to Santa Paula than just the money. They show such a commitment to the community; they see the sparkle we all see in Santa Paula and they want to give back” through public safety service.

Reynolds is a “quiet leader that other supervisors look to for guidance... I walk by his door and see the sergeants talking to Troyce quietly about problems, how to handle personnel out on the street. He’s always there to listen, always ready to handle issues and problems. I know whatever I pass on to him will be handled.” 

Reynolds handles diverse duties, “all the little projects that need to be done,” ranging from filming - “with all the problems there” - to scheduling officers and keeping their morale up. And, added MacKinnon, “I’m constantly amazed at all the information he has in his head about the bad guys! It’s critical to have someone like that... and I’m going to miss him.”

Reynolds will stay active with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit. “He hasn’t cut all the strings, and we will still see him on occasion in uniform. After the first shock of leaving,” MacKinnon said, Reynolds will find “there is life after the police department; he may be retiring here, but he has a brand new edition to the family,” Lukas, Troyce and Karen Araiza Reynolds’ 1-year-old son.

“I personally appreciated working with him and look forward to continue working with him,” as Reynolds, said MacKinnon, is “a hidden gem of the community.”

Reynolds admitted to feeling “choked up.... The city and others always treated me pretty good,” and he has especially enjoyed working with MacKinnon.

When Bob Gonzales retired as chief in 2005, Reynolds thought about leaving the SPPD, even buying ranch property in Texas. “I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,” but on MacKinnon’s first day Reynolds was impressed with the new chief’s ideas and style. “He tuned me up, he tuned the whole department up.”

Juarez, who was promoted to lieutenant before Reynolds, “also helped me.... I learned a lot of management” styles and practices from the chief and Juarez.

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