Archive » March 27, 2008
NEW SHERIFF'S LIEUTENANT IN TOWN
By India Allen, Staff Writer
New sheriff’s lieutenant in town
Lt. Phil Willis is saying goodbye to the Solvang Sheriff’s Station for the third time as he gets ready to transfer down south.
Willis officially transferred out of the Solvang station into a position as a trainer in Santa Barbara March 24.
Willis said that, while he will miss the valley, his move is not unusual since the Sheriff’s Department likes to shuffle personnel every couple of years.
Willis served as the station’s lieutenant for the past three years. He also served the valley area as a patrol detective and a chief.
Erin Ayala, office assistant senior, is going to miss Willis.
“Between him and Leland Bentley, I’ll miss them both,” she said. “But Mark will do a good job.”
Lt. Mark Liddi is taking Willis’ place and said he looks forward to serving the various communities within the valley.
“I will miss my friends at the main office,” he said. “but I really like the communities up here.”
Liddi, who lives in the valley, has 30-plus years experience in law enforcement, most of which he’s spent with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
He has held various positions with the department, including Santa Barbara and Isla Vista patrol, Major Crimes Investigator, and member of the Santa Barbara Special Weapons and Tactics team.
He said he’s had the opportunity to leave the Santa Barbara department but said he just loves the agency and couldn’t see himself leaving.
Liddi primarily will be focused on training deputies and improving the quality of services to the community.
“I think the mentoring process is important,” he said.
This is Liddi’s first appointment as a lieutenant, and he said he’s looking forward to working in the valley.
Sgt. Craig Bonner, who has worked under both Willis and Liddi, said he’s comfortable with the station change.
“I’m sad to see Phil go, however, in terms of replacement, I’m really happy with Lt. Liddi,” he said.