We’ve had a lot of changes at the Sheriff’s Office. You could say 2019 is the year of change. We’ve seen changes in our jail, on the street, and most importantly, changes in our staff. A few months ago, we said goodbye to some old friends here at the Sheriff’s Office. My Chief Deputy retired after a 31-year-career at the Sheriff’s Office. I selected the very well qualified Commander Jim Taylor for that position. And then my Undersheriff also retired after a long distinguished career in law enforcement. The person I chose for that position is the person I want to introduce to you in this column. His name is Jim Voge.
I first met Jim during my first election campaign for Sheriff in 2010. I knew he had been a member of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and had retired at the rank of Commander after serving more than 33 years. During that time, he had seen it all, and done it all, from working the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, being on duty for a visit by the Pope, and seeing first-hand the Rodney King riots. His last assignment with that agency was the commanding officer of the Internal Affairs Group. I could think of no one better to head up our professional standards unit, also known as the internal affairs bureau. Under my predecessor, that unit had become inactive and when I became Sheriff, one of the first changes I made was to bring back that unit to the Sheriff’s Office to make sure all of us were being held accountable to the public. Jim was hired as a commander of that unit in February of 2011.
Jim excelled in that position as I knew he would. So much so, he became the Commander of our Coast Patrol Station which is located in Los Osos. He oversaw our patrol station operations for a fairly large area along the coast which stretches from the Monterey County line to Avila Beach. And then when Tim Olivas announced his intention to retire as the Undersheriff at the end of 2018, I selected Jim Voge to take his place.
So, what are the duties and responsibilities of an Undersheriff? We get asked all the time, what does the Undersheriff do? Quite simply, the Undersheriff is the second-in-command at the Sheriff’s Office. The Undersheriff oversees two Chief Deputies, a Custody Captain, and administrative services. It’s a large responsibility, but Jim has been able to handle it with professionalism, foresight, and his many years of experience. And his easy-going demeanor and quick smile are an added bonus, too.
Undersheriff Voge has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University Los Angeles. Besides his work at the Sheriff’s Office, Undersheriff Voge teaches Officer-Involved Shooting and Internal Affairs Investigation courses. Jim also taught criminal justice courses at Cuesta College.
Jim resides in Cambria with his wife Ramona and an eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Barclay. Their adult son, Jimmy Voge, is a deputy district attorney in Tulare County. They are very active in many community events and local charities. Jim is not the type to stay in his office; he is usually out and about interacting with our Deputies and with community members to learn about the concerns and issues they may have. If you get a chance to meet him, you’ll be glad you did. I know I am.