Baugher named deputy of year
By Lenny Roberts
The son of former Ojai policeman,
Ojai native Scott Baugher was exposed to law enforcement all
of his life. He graduated from the Sheriff's Academy in June
1997, and following the obligatory two-year stint in the custody
division, which he served at the Baldwin Road Honor Farm, Baugher
was assigned to West County Patrol Services, working out of the
Ojai Police Station.
Last week, the 27-year-old officer was named Ojai's Deputy of
the Year by his supervisors and fellow deputies. The formal award
will be presented May 16 at the Poinsettia Pavilion by the Kiwanis
Club of Ventura. Baugher will then have his name inscribed on
a perpetual trophy on display at the Ojai Police Station. His
name will follow those of many officers who have been recognized
for excellence and commitment, most recently deputies Joe Preciado
in 2002, Mike Marco in 2001, Dave Sparks in 2000, Mark Burgess
in 1999, and Maureen Hookstra in 1998.
Larry Baugher, who later became a sergeant in the Ventura County
Sheriff's Department before retiring three years ago, said his
son has done it all by himself.
"He works really hard. When he wants to learn something,
he goes to school," the elder Baugher said.
In his relatively short tenure with the department, Baugher has
become the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue liaison officer, where
he is responsible for overseeing 25 volunteers on various missions;
the Police Activities League off-road motorcycle instructor/mentor,
where he teaches troubled youth how to ride motorcycles safely
while having fun at the same time; a field training officer,
helping to guide new recruits into the patrol world; and a career
development detective, where he worked alongside permanent detectives
Joe Evans and Rick Jones and Pentis while filing cases with the
district attorney's office.
"That was the best job and time yet in my career, with many
stories to tell," Baugher said.
He, along with wife Melissa, also oversees the Ojai Police Station's
annual toy, food and clothing program for needy valley families
each Christmas by personally gathering the names of those in
need, then wrapping and delivering the packages.
He has also been a member of the California Narcotic Officers'
Association for five years, and a board member of the Ventura
County Peace Officers' Association for six months.
Ojai Police Chief Gary Pentis said Baugher shows that he truly
cares about the Ojai community, especially when answering calls
"He never forgets to take care of little things that affect
the quality of life," Pentis said. "We had many outstanding
candidates from this station, and it was a difficult choice to
make. The one thing that put him over the top was his recent
career development position in detectives, where he just enhanced
his skills as a deputy. He hit the ground running, putting together
some extremely complex cases in a very short time."
The Baughers live in Ventura with their two children, Taylor,
7, and Hunter, 5.
"His mom (Hope) and I are very proud of him. He's a good
son, a great father and a good police officer," Larry Baugher
The Ojai Valley News
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Deputy Scott Baugher