LANCASTER – Residents and uniformed deputies packed the Lancaster council chambers Tuesday evening to welcome the new captain of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lancaster Station.
Attendees stood up and applauded as Sheriff Lee Baca announced that Lieutenant Patrick ‘Pat’ Nelson was being promoted to captain right there in City Hall.
Nelson replaces former Lancaster Station Captain Bob Jonsen, who was recently selected as the new Chief of Police for the city of Menlo Park.
The new captain said he planned on continuing the success of Jonsen, his friend and mentor.
“My long-term goal is to partner with the community and attempt to build on the successes of my predecessor in reducing our part one crimes, making this the safest city in LA County,” Nelson said.
Nelson began his career with LASD as a Community Service Officer in 1983 at Santa Clarita Station. He then attended the Academy in 1986, along with Jonsen.
Nelson has worked patrol at Carson and Antelope Valley Stations. He has also worked as a Field Training Officer, a Narcotics Investigator and a Station Detective.
As a sergeant, Nelson was assigned to the gang enforcement unit in the Altadena area, COPS bureau and Lancaster Station. He also worked in the Narcotics Bureau in both Lancaster and Palmdale.
As a lieutenant, Nelson worked at Century, Lennox and Lancaster Stations. He was then assigned to the Detective Bureau at Century Station before being transferred to the Major Crimes Bureau.
Prior to his re-assignment to Lancaster in March 2011, Nelson was assigned to the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Nelson and his family have been Antelope Valley residents for more than 20 years.
Before passing the reins to Nelson Tuesday evening, city officials bid a fond farewell to former Lancaster Station Captain Bob Jonsen.
“You’ve done a superb job,” Mayor R. Rex Parris told Jonsen, before awarding him a plaque for his service to Lancaster.
Baca presented Jonsen with a ‘Distinguished Service Award.’
“This is the award that they give for folks who work hard for a long time and made a big difference,” Baca said. “The men and the women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department join me today to provide you with this tribute that hopefully you will always remember way into your future. God bless you, and thank you and best of luck.”
In explaining his move to the city of Menlo Park, Jonsen said he actually grew up in Northern California, and most of his family members were still there. He said he’d moved to Southern California three decades ago to gain experience.
“Realizing I need to understand what life was really about,” Jonsen said. “And the experiences I’ve gained in the last 30 years of living in Los Angeles have been tremendous. But really my selection as the Chief of Police for the city of Menlo Park is a testament to this community, because this community is the reason they selected me.”
Jonsen praised Lancaster, calling it his “most supportive community.”
“From the mayor, the council members, the residents, the men and women that work for the sheriff’s department, you couldn’t ask for a better group and a more committed, collaborative group to make this one of the safest cities in America,” Jonsen said. “And I say ‘one of’ because now I have to make Menlo Park the safest,” Jonsen added.