Next week’s primary election features a showdown between two veteran Ventura County law enforcement professionals, the incumbent sheriff and one of the department’s top commanders.

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 this coming Tuesday, 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 country,” Ayub said to VIDA Newspaper.

Fryhoff, 51, joined the sheriff’s department at 19 years old and is currently working as the Operations Commander for the Detention Services Bureau where he oversees several facilities throughout Ventura County.

“My years of experience clearly make me fit for the position. I’m also the only person currently working at the sheriff’s office that’s attended the FBI National Academy, which is a 10-week program in Quantico, Virginia,” Fryhoff said to VIDA Newspaper.

Before his current commander post, Fryhoff was selected as Chief of Police for the city of Thousand Oaks in 2020. The pandemic struck during this time, as well as the social unrest following the murder of George Floyd. “I was really trying to engage with the youth at that time because they were really upset at what they saw with George Floyd, and so were we, but they needed to hear that from us,” Fryhoff said to VIDA Newspaper. “We didn’t like what we saw either, and we know that needs to change and that will not be acceptable in our area, and I wanted to let them know that we’re trained way better than that.”

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.”

Fryhoff had also previously worked on a threat assessment program, which was an active shooter program, to help make schools safer.

The sheriff candidate strongly believes in community engagement and wants to hire more people who represent the community they serve if elected.

“Right now, officers are being measured on how many arrests they make, how many tickets they write rather than what they’re doing to keep their community safe,” Fryhoff said. “The [current] sheriff has already said I’m soft on crime during an interview because I had said these things, but I am not soft on crime. I’m very tough on crime but I’m focused on the crime that’s actually causing harm in our community,” Fryhoff said to VIDA Newspaper.

“By working with the community to address those things I think we’re going to attract more people who want to work for us, and we’re going to see people who work for our agency who are going to be patrolling their communities where there is going to be a better understanding of culture, issues, and being able to navigate things from a commonsense approach rather than a heavy-handed approach,” Fryhoff said.

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

“For me it’s 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.

Fryhoff grew up in Pasadena, CA but came to Ventura County after joining the department in 1990. He has lived in several cities in Ventura County, and currently resides in Simi Valley. He and his wife Traci have two teenage daughters.

“My goal is to keep Ventura County safe,” Fryhoff said to VIDA Newspaper.

Statewide elections are this Tuesday, June 7.