New Sheriff’s captain emphasizes community policing


John Maryon recently took over as captain of the Encinitas Sheriff’s substation, but he’s by no means new to the community.

This is Maryon’s fourth stint at the substation. He first worked as a patrol deputy in 1996, then in the community-oriented policing unit, and later was assigned to a street narcotics detail.

“I’ve experienced local issues from the deputy level, the sergeant level and the detective level,” he said.

Rising through the ranks at the substation made him a big believer of community-centric policing. The approach calls for officers to walk the beat and get to know residents and business owners.

“As a younger deputy working in patrol, I didn’t always see the whole picture,” Maryon said while sitting in his office. “Later, I gained the understanding of ‘OK, I need to go out and meet people and get the community’s trust.’ You want to work with the public to solve problems.”

The philosophy served him especially well when he was assigned to the local narcotics detail. Maryon said public tips and informants led to key arrests.

“I knew the area,” he said. “I knew the community. I knew the pockets of places with drug issues. And I had good connections to citizens.”

Community-oriented policing isn’t only about fighting crime, though. It can also be applied to quality-of-life issues, a big deal locally, Maryon said.

“In the overall scheme of crime, someone parking in the red zone of a local school might not seem like a huge deal. But to the families dealing with it during pick-up — that’s their issue and should be our issue.”

Maryon added that he has implored deputies to police as if it were their neighborhood.

He’s also an advocate of “information-led policing,” as evidenced by his desk. It had a stack of paperwork that showed where and when calls for service occurred. Maryon said he soon planned to pore over the stats to see whether officers should be redeployed or work different times.

Outside law enforcement, he has gotten to know many in the community because he lives in south Carlsbad with his wife and two kids, who go to La Costa Canyon High School. Plus, he has coached various local youth sports.

“It really makes it more personal here to keep it safe when your family is shopping here, and your friends’ homes could potentially be victimized by burglaries and thefts.”

Maryon, who grew up in San Diego, originally wanted to be a pilot. A friend later persuaded him to give law enforcement a try. Twenty-three years into the career, he hasn’t looked back.

“It’s exciting — it’s something different every day. I don’t like sitting still and being indoors all day.”

Maryon previously served as the Sheriff’s Department homicide lieutenant. When Maryon was promoted to captain, his first choice was the Encinitas substation, also called the North Coast Station.

“I thought, ‘I’d love to come here, since I have community ties.’”

He replaced Theresa Adams-Hydar, who will be handling internal operations within the Sheriff’s Department. As captain, he oversees not only Encinitas, but also Del Mar, Solana Beach and unincorporated areas like Rancho Santa Fe.

One focus for Maryon is combating an increase in shoplifting along El Camino Real in Encinitas, particularly with the upcoming holiday shopping season. He didn’t want to give away methods for how the Sheriff’s Department is tackling this, but said to trust that it’s a priority.

Another growing problem is thieves preying on joggers and surfers who park on Coast Highway 101 and stash their car keys nearby or on the beach. Maryon said deputies are increasingly keeping an eye out for thieves and also warning residents to keep their keys on them.

Downtown Encinitas issues, including vandalism, vagrancy, littering and drug use, took center stage this summer during Encinitas City Council meetings. Maryon said he’ll continue dedicating more resources to the area and partnering with the city on issues.

He added that he’ll look to the community as a partner in the process.

“It’s not an us versus them. We have to do it together.”