Awards - Deputy of the Year

Deputy Rod Valdez

Deputy Rod Valdez

Deputy Rod Valdez was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in August 1986 as a deputy sheriff where he was assigned to the jails. In 1994, Rod transferred to the contract city of San Clemente where he has spent the past 15 years. He has worked uniformed patrol, where in 1991 was involved in a shooting at the south end of San Clemente. He spent 3 years as a motor officer working traffic in San Clemente, during which time he was struck while on the motorcycle in two separate collisions – neither were his fault - but after the second accident he decided not to tempt fate and returned to driving a black and white patrol vehicle. He spent many years in patrol as an FTO (field training officer) where he trained new patrol deputies in patrol and his most recent assignment is the School Resource Deputy for San Clemente.

Rod’s duties on campus are vast to include the law enforcement liaison between the Capistrano Unified School District and Police Services, conducts mediation, takes theft and criminal reports, Parent Project Instructor, Sheriff’s Explorer Advisor, supervises sporting events, school board hearings, oversees parking violation issues, attends district school committee meetings and works closely with the deputies assigned to the department wide SMART team who handle all county wide crimes occurring at the Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction schools. Deputy Valdez spends the majority of his shift on campus interacting with the students and administration. His authority is well respected and he is often the first law enforcement responder and contact the students when faced with criminal activity on the school campus. Rod has developed a good rapport with the students on campus, displaying command presence, however maintaining the ability to be approached by students.

Rod participated in a mock DUI presentation at San Clemente High School. This event was well attended by parents, students, faculty, police and fire personnel.

Rod is one of our Police Explorer advisors. He is responsible for weekly meetings where he trains the explorers doing field simulation problems. He is dedicated to improving the explorer’s physical fitness program, having the explorers run and exercise as part of each weekly meeting.

Rod is one of the instructors for our Parent Project. This 10-week program is held several times during the year, after hours at the local high school. The curriculum taught during this program is invaluable to parents. Rod is dedicated to the parents and often helps them with the difficult tasks associated with raising adolescents. As put by the program coordinator, “Rod goes above and beyond with the guidance he offers the parents utilizing techniques taught during Parent Project."

Rod continues to help in patrol, working overtime and often filling in as the acting patrol sergeant. Rod is always willing to assist his fellow deputies with “other than the ordinary” call for service or report.