City officials and residents last month bid farewell to Pico Rivera Sheriff's Station Captain James Thornton as he takes on another assignment within the the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Captain Thornton was promoted to Captain in 2010 and was assigned to the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s station. Since he took over the Captain’s post, crime rates in the City continued on a steady decline as City Officials worked with the Sheriff’s department to combat crime in the City.
In a report given earlier this year, the total number of Part 1 crimes for 2013 alone, which includes violent crime and property crime, was down 14 percent. The most significant drop occurred in the number of robberies, down 30 percent, followed by burglaries, which were down 24 percent.
Along with the continued support of the successful Personal Responsibility in Developing Ethics (PRIDE) program, Captain Thronton also implemented several successful programs and campaigns to keep Pico Rivera a safe community. Among the campaigns were the "Hide it, Lock it or Lose it" campaign which encourages residents to conceal all their valuables at home or in their car as well as to make sure all entries into their vehicles or homes are properly secured.
To help keep the youth off the streets, a Youth Athletic League was established at the current PRIDE center located on the grounds of the former Meller School site. In conjunction with the Youth Activities League, the “Beat the Streets” wrestling program was established to cultivate and support youth development programs in underserved communities in the Los Angeles area. Beat the Streets Los Angeles utilizes the sport of wrestling to foster and encourage a desire for excellence, respect for peers, fair play, leadership, and perseverance.
“Captain Thornton was a great leader in the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s station, he certainly was able to connect to this community and work with City Officials to create the safe environment that we have today” said City Manager Ron Bates. “We thank him for his dedicated service and wish him well on his new assignment.”
As Captain Thornton leaves, the City proudly welcomes Captain Allen M. Castellano who immediately took over at the Pico Rivera Station last month. Captain Castellano is a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and was recently promoted to Captain by Sheriff John L. Scott. This will be Captain Castellano’s first assignment in his new capacity.
Captain Castellano is no stranger to Pico Rivera. He served as a Deputy in Pico Rivera from 2000 to 2006. Also during his 20 year career with the Sheriff’s Department, Captain Castellano worked at the Men’s Central Jail, Compton Court and most recently, as an Executive Aide for both Sheriff Leroy D. Baca and Sheriff John L. Scott.
However, one assignment stands out during his career. In 2005, Captain Castellano, then a Deputy at the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station, was selected to serve as part of the Presidential Protection Detail for the 2005 Presidential Inauguration.
“We welcome Captain Castellano back to the Pico Rivera family,” said Bates. “The City is looking forward to the leadership that he will offer that will help the City Officials continue its efforts in protecting residents and businesses.”