By Karen Billing
Carmel Valley’s Northwestern Division of the San Diego Police Department has a new community resource officer, Tracey Williams. Williams replaces Natalie Hone, who has been promoted to detective and has been re-assigned to Eastern Division.
“I have enjoyed getting to know each of you and want to thank you all for your patience and hospitality during my time as your CRO,” Hone wrote in a letter to the community.
Hone said she trained Williams on his new CRO duties, such as the monthly e-mail blast to residents on crime/arrest data, posting updates on Nextdoor and Facebook, and all of the monthly meetings he is to attend. Together they attended Williams’ first community planning group meeting, the recent Torrey Hills Community Planning Group.
“He is a wonderful and light-hearted officer who has been with the department for many years and is a wealth of information and resources,” Hone said.
Williams has nearly 18 years with the San Diego Police Department under his belt, coming to Carmel Valley a year ago after working over 17 years in the Western Division. He decided he wanted to become a police officer after getting “hooked” doing a ride-along with his brother, who is now a sergeant in the homicide department.
Williams said it’s a lot quieter here than Western Division, where he spent the bulk of his time on patrol in the North Park area. Williams said he loves being on patrol.
“When you’re on patrol you kind of get into a routine and tend to do the same thing every day,” Williams said of his North Park routine of heading to the local 7-11.
He liked to check in at the store every day, greet people and just be a presence in the community to make them feel comfortable that someone was keeping watch.
“Looking back over the years, [my favorite thing] is all of the people I’ve helped having worked in the same area for a long time,” Williams said. “Going to calls and meeting people, seeing people come to 7-11, little kids getting Slurpees and watching them grow up. Some kids, 15 to 17 years later, come back to me as adults and say ‘Hey Officer Williams, you probably don’t remember me’ and then tell me that I made a difference because they respected the way I treated their parents and neighbors.”
He will still get to be on patrol a little with his new CRO gig and he has found a new 7-11 to frequent, the one on Mango Drive. He wants to be a trusted fixture in the community and welcomes people to feel comfortable to contact him with whatever issues they have.
“I want to just try to help whoever needs help, that’s what this position is all about,” said Williams. “I’m a resource so whatever people need help with, that’s what I’m here for.”
Williams can be reached at (858) 523-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org