Letters to the Editor
December 22, 2016

To the Editor:
The letter below was sent to me to express a resident’s appreciation for our deputies that serve our community on a daily basis. I received her permission to share it with the community. This is another example of the positive daily work our officers do to improve the quality of life in our community. With all of the confrontation that is taking place in our world; it is nice to know you can make a positive difference if you take the time to treat each other like family. During this season of sharing, I am very grateful to lead and share in their mission to protect and serve all of Fillmore and the Santa Clara Valley.
Happy Holidays,
Fillmore Police Chief, Dave Wareham

[Letter to Fillmore Sheriff’s Department]
I would like to take a minute to thank two special Deputy's for the way they handled a situation last month. Both Deputy Graybill and Deputy Bautista were called to assist in some questioning with 2 of my children at the station. It was pretty late in the evening and words cannot express how appreciative I am that my children were able to get to know police officers on more of a personal level.
What could have been a bad memory of sitting and waiting for hours, was actually turned into some positive communicating time! My children, Heaven & Enoch Aparicio left with such a positive outlook all because these two Deputy's took the time to not only listen, but they also opened up, sharing some things that helped my kids realize even "police officers" can come from "difficult" backgrounds. This was great as it helped reiterate things I try to teach them... That OUR life is what WE make of it! WE ALL have a "story" but it is up to US to create the ending WE want!
Deputy Bautista had conducted his questioning with care and even shared with my kids how he also had a stepdad, which wasn't always easy... Something that helped them relate to each other created great comfort and it also helped my son have a different outlook on cops, as all too often they appear to be emotionally distant and rarely open up or share stories with kids. This had a tremendously positive effect and I'd like to thank him for being able to step out of the cop mentality at the right time and appear as another human, someone with whom he could relate to for the time being. Also, there were two instances before when Deputy Bautista helped my brother with a child custody/visitation situation, where he again, took the time to explain and offer great advice and did not stereotype him due to his past. This was something my brother greatly appreciated as he has never gotten to see the other side of a cop, which I feel helped him open up to a new world of respect for Officers.
Deputy Graybill went above and beyond our expectations of ANY police officer. She sat there getting to know us all and helped keep everyone's minds busy and at ease with her conversations. I can honestly say after a good 3 hours around her, I find her to be very sincere in what she does. I learned from her and my son Enoch, about a time that all the kids STILL talk about. One day she went by the skatepark and jokingly jumped on a skateboard with no wheels pretending to ride it! To this day, my son still talks about it. Something so simple went a long way because it helped the kids out here see a different side of cops, a side they like and respect more! Simple things, like kids getting to know the other side of a cop (their personality) I believe helps make a huge difference later as they grow up in this small town. Deputy Graybill also shared a very special story... A personal story about her "broken shoe" when she was young, and how embarrassed she was when her shoe broke at school because the glue did not hold it together. She shared with us, how she promised herself that one day she would be able to purchase as many shoes as she wanted, after being so embarressed. Well, little did she know, this was something we can relate too and this helped my kids see that we are not the only ones who have struggled financially. It helped them see that they too have a choice to be the change and it is up to them to make their minds up and utilize it in a positive way. Creating our path to success is up to us, and I am so thankful she also took the time to help, encourage, motivate, and get to know my children as we all appreciated her time with us. Lastly, Deputy Graybill went above and beyond by offering food to my children and I, as she knew being there for hours had given them an appetite. She was so generous to offer and pay for the food as I didn't have any money on me. That sincere gesture went a long way as she didn't have to do that, it says a lot about her. My kids were very well taken care of with her in our presence and I appreciate that.
All too often people only take the time to complain. I want to take the time to let the Fillmore Sheriffs Dept. know you have some great new additions to your force. It's people like these two, who really make a difference helping mold lives of the future.
Thank you for your time,
Naomi Qualls


To the Editor:
Merry Christmas Fillmore! The trees downtown have finally arrived, fewer and not exactly pine trees – but they arrived! Between tree mix-ups, deaths, record rains and wicked winds…it was doubtful! But the Christmas tree tradition was going to return – no matter what came at us…Thanks to all who trekked down to add their bit of joy to the trees for our blesses town!
Regina Stehly