Ventura County Sheriff William “Bill” Ayub looks forward to continuing to serve his community and keeping the county safe if reelected in the statewide elections on June 7. Commander Jim Fryhoff is the only candidate running against Ayub.

Ayub, 54, has been with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Officer for 26 years now, and began his term as county sheriff in 2018. He says that his time as sheriff has arguably been during some of the most difficult times Ventura County has faced in modern history.

“We’ve come through really well, we’ve kept crime low despite crime rising dramatically in other places around our county,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper.

When Ayub first set out to be sheriff, he planned to strengthen training for employees at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, as well as improve equipment and facilities, technology, and focus on homelessness among other things.  

“I’m really happy to say that we’ve been able to do many of those things, some are in mid process, and others accomplished in many ways,” Ayub said. “I always say that if you’re not learning, adapting, and adjusting – you’re falling behind. Our environment is so dynamic right now it requires us to be constantly paying attention to what’s going on, and making adjustments so that we change the way we deliver service, the way we investigate, the way we protect the community, and interface with the public.”

Ayub is third generation Venturan, and says that he is fully invested in his community and does not plan on going elsewhere.

“For me its about taking care of my community, and that’s what drives me and motivates me to keep running,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper. “I could retire at the end of this term and go do something else, and financially it would be beneficial for me to do that, but I want to continue serving my community and to get it through these challenging times and keep it safe.”

The Ventura County Sheriff doesn’t come from a long line of law enforcement like many others. He is the first in his family to work in law enforcement and he knew at a young age that this is what he wanted to do.

“My youth minister when I was young was somebody I really admired, and he became a deputy sheriff with Ventura County. I was shocked because he’s such a nice guy, and my perception of law enforcement officers were that they’re tough, hard as nails type of people that nobody even really knows who they are. When he became a deputy and told me about why and told me about the job, I became really intrigued and that was really it for me,” Ayub said.

Ayub also mentioned that when he was in junior high school, a fellow student approached him and asked him to hangout with him at lunchtime and protect him.

“He looked at me as this protective figure for some reason, even though I never saw myself as that. It made me feel good about the idea of sticking up for somebody else who needed that help,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper.

When Ayub graduated high school, he immediately began his law enforcement career as a police cadet with the Santa Paula Police Department. Ayub eventually joined the sheriff’s office in 1996.

Ayub says that Ventura County is very safe in terms of crimes reported, and that a combination of training, outreach and various other things has helped keep crime rates so low.

“An adaptive approach, continuously scanning the horizon looking for problems, adjusting to crime trends, communicating with the public and letting them know what we’re seeing and how they can help be part of the solution, I think all the those things contribute to keeping the county safe.” Ayub said.

Ayub strongly believes in educating the youth and providing them with all the tools and resources necessary to be successful, especially in communities that lack certain resources. Ayub feels that this will help keep crime rates low, and has seen this tactic work firsthand.

“Fillmore had some of the highest incidents of violence in the county per capita. When I was a major crimes homicide detective, I spent half my time in Fillmore working cases, because there were just so many to work there,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper. “We really started focusing on working with the youth there… and we knew it was an investment for the future… Fillmore is one of the safest communities in Ventura County now.”

Oxnard and other surrounding communities have taken on programs that are directed toward the youth to reduce gang violence and crime rates after the success in Fillmore.

“I really think that working with the youth is just a smart way to invest in the future to help foster the creation of productive citizens and to reduce crime,” Ayub said.

Ayub would too like to continue to focus on mental health issues facing the community. He says that several programs have been enacted to help those who are incarcerated that suffer from mental health, as well as victims.

“We have some really good tools to deal with mental health issues, and I’m talking about training and understanding of people in crisis, and that is going to continue to grow and expand if I have say in the matter,” Ayub said.

The sheriff also plans to create more diversity in the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

“If you look down into our deputy ranks and our professional staff, we have a pretty fair representation of the community, but it is still something we struggle with,” Ayub said. “It’s something that I’d like to continue working on.”

Ayub says that he has the support of all the living sheriff’s from Ventura County, most sheriff’s from the state of California, a wide variety of former executive and command staff, and elected officials and community leaders for his reelection.

“I’m really proud of the record I have to stand on. We’ve had some amazing accomplishments and the results speak for themselves. There has been a reduction of 40 percent of citizens’ complaints against our staff, and I believe that is largely in part of our improvements in training and accountability,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper.