Blythe In Focus: Sheriff's Colorado River Station Capt. Teets retires, farewell Q&A

“To my troops and colleagues still navigating this incredible and arduous calling, please know the differences you make may seem few, but they are mighty,” stated outgoing and retiring Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Colorado River Station Capt. David Teets. “We never really know all the differences we make throughout the course of our career, but I assure you they are plenty. Finally, always maintain your faith and moral compass. It will keep you afloat and provide guidance, even in the darkest of times.”

The new year will welcome a new commander at the helm of the area’s Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Colorado River Station, as outgoing Capt. David Teets welcomes retirement in 2021.

“As a new Deputy Sheriff, his initial assignment was to our Sheriff’s Court Services Division, and his job was to provide courtroom security at the downtown Family Law Courthouse in Riverside,” stated the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 2017 upon Teets’ arrival to the Colorado River Station. “In 1999, Captain Teets was transferred to the Hemet Station and assigned to uniformed patrol duties. In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal at the Hemet Station and assigned to the station’s investigations unit where he investigated various crimes and oversaw the enforcement program for sex, drug, and arson registrants.”

Teets brought over two decades’ worth of law enforcement experience to the area station in 2017, which he then took over from previous commander Capt. Matthew Jimenez.

“In 2005, Captain Teets was promoted to the rank of Investigator and assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau (SIB), a unit handling sensitive countywide investigations for the Sheriff’s Department. The following year, Captain Teets was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the narcotics enforcement team within SIB. During his tenure as a Sergeant in the narcotics unit over 5 years, Captain Teets supervised intelligence analysts, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Highway Drug Interdiction Team, and the Narcotics/Clandestine Lab Unit,” stated the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “In 2011, Captain Teets was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the Palm Desert Station. During his tenure at the Palm Desert Station, Captain Teets held assignments within the patrol bureau, investigations bureau, and the station’s administrative services unit. He also served as the Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Rancho Mirage, where he worked closely with the city manager’s office.”

In 2014 as the Administration Lieutenant at Riverside’s Sheriff’s Administration, Teets oversaw the department’s Media Information Bureau (MIB), the Concealed Weapons Unit (CCW), Administrative Support Services for the Office of the Sheriff, and special events.

Teets was promoted to the rank of captain by previous Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff in 2015, with command assignments of both the Indio and Blythe Jails.

“In 2016, he was (then) transferred to the Palm Desert Station, where he simultaneously served as the police chief for the cities of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells,” noted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The below Times Q&A highlights Teets’ time in the Palo Verde Valley, reflections on his time and career in law enforcement, what follows, messages to his deputies and more:

Q: What was your time in the Palo Verde Valley like in leading the Colorado River Station and what did the post mean to you in your career?

Teets: In all honesty, it was the best assignment in my law enforcement career. I have worked assignments all over Riverside County and nothing compares to the Colorado River Station in Blythe.

The staff is close knit, which makes for a family atmosphere. We have a great relationship with the community we serve in the Palo Verde Valley and we get great support from them.

To have been a part of it for the past three and a half years is an unbelievable honor.

Q: What is your fondest memory from your time leading the Sheriff’s Colorado River Station?

Teets: This is a tough question to answer because there have been so many. I have to say the community events have been my favorites. These were the times I was able to have fun with my staff and mingle with the community. I have fond memories of the booth we had at the fair, the Christmas parades we participated in, and especially all the kids (and adults alike) going crazy over the Grinch.

Q: Where do you go from here (e.g. hobbies, other career plans, family time, or otherwise)?

Teets: First and foremost, I look forward to freeing myself of the work phone and the daily responsibilities that go with working full time. I never rule out the possibility of reentering the workforce, but as to what or when that might be is anyone’s question.

My immediate plans are to catch up on all the little chores that never seem to get accomplished when you work all the time. I plan on spending time exploring the desert in my UTV and doing some metal detecting.

Finally, trips in the motorhome with the wife to visit places we have never been will be at the top of the list.

Q: On a more personal note, what does it mean to you to have had a full career in law enforcement?

Teets: After 27 years (exactly half of my life) in the law enforcement profession, I cannot help but reflect on the things I have seen and done...and it boggles my mind.

From hearing the dying words of persons preparing to meet God...or worse; to the teenage girl and our exchange of words on that late Hemet night.

I would later learn that my stern and encouraging words about my own sister’s untimely death from a drug overdose would help her find God and return the kindness in her heart to her parents and more importantly, herself.

To the time I led a group of salty narcotics detectives to a Southern California beach town, with little to no information, to look for the killer of a young and vibrant teenager preparing to enter her prime. I’m proud to say we did find him. That evil excuse for a human being was just sentenced to receive the death penalty and I hope he is ready to meet his maker when that time finally comes.

There are simply too many stories to mention. It has been a roller coaster of a ride, yet at the same time it has been extremely fulfilling.

Q: Is there any message or bit of advice you’d like to relay to your Colorado River Station successor and/or deputies?

Teets: To my troops and colleagues still navigating this incredible and arduous calling, please know the differences you make may seem few, but they are mighty.

We never really know all the differences we make throughout the course of our career, but I assure you they are plenty.

Finally, always maintain your faith and moral compass. It will keep you afloat and provide guidance, even in the darkest of times.

Q: And finally, is there any further comment/thoughts you’d like to add?

Teets: I want to thank the citizens of Riverside County for allowing me to serve you. And thank you to the Riverside County Coroner’s Office, Riverside Police Department, and especially the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for allowing me to be a part of your organizations. It has been an absolute honor and a pleasure.

Finally, and most importantly, my family.

To my boys, Justin (may you rest in peace), Garrett, and Evan. Thanks for taking care of each other (including your mom) and for having to deal with the lack of my presence during holidays, birthdays, sports games, etc.

To my mother, Kathy and step-father, Kevin: You dealt with the loss of my brother and sister, only to have to worry about me for the dangerous and unpredictable profession I chose, never knowing if I would come home at the end of my shift. I honestly do not know how you did it for all these years.

To my wife, Brandi: There are no words to adequately thank you. Thanks for always being there, for your unwavering support, for being my biggest cheerleader, and for being the beacon of our family. I know I could not have done it without you. Thank you!

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