By Lenny Roberts
Each year, area Kiwanis Clubs ask co-workers and supervisors at each of the 12 law-enforcement agencies within the county to select the man or woman they feel should be recognized as Officer of the Year. Ojai-based sheriff’s deputies made their collective choice clear: Bill Meixner.
Meixner was named May 11 during the Ventura Kiwanis Club’s 40th annual Law Day at the Poinsettia Pavillion. “I’m honored,” Meixner said. “We’ve got a lot of real good proactive deputies up here with a lot of experience.” Meixner added he personally voted for his mentor, Deputy Chris Loes. “It’s an honor that they would select me. I don’t feel worthy.” Ojai Police Chief Bruce Norris said Meixner, 36, started his career with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in 1999.
During his first three years, he worked as a deputy in the Sheriff’s Detention Services Division. In 2002, he was assigned to his first patrol assignment in Fillmore. In 2004, because of budget and staffing cuts in the Sheriff’s Department, Meixner was reassigned to Detention Services, where he worked the next two years at the Main Jail in Ventura. In 2006 he was reassigned to patrol at the Ojai station, where he has patrolled the streets of the Ojai Valley for the past 15 months.
“Meixner has earned a reputation as a hard worker withan uncommon ability to find and arrest those who commit crimes,” Norris said. “In the short time he has been at the Ojai station, he has surpassed most of his peers in overall law enforcement activity and arrests. With a quiet, composed and compassionate style, Meixner has made hundreds of police contacts without a complaint from the public. He is a man of strong character and integrity, and he serves the community well.”
Norris said a typical example of Meixner’s work came recently when he stopped a local resident he suspected of committing multiple thefts. During that traffic stop, Meixner found stolen purses, credit cards, wallets and tools, along with a variety of drugs and narcotics. A subsequent search warrant of the suspect’s home revealed additional stolen property from residents he had victimized in the area. Police estimate that this single arrest reduced thefts and burglaries in the Ojai Valley by 50 percent, or more.
“This type of police work has been repeated many times since Meixner was assigned to the Ojai station,” Norris said, adding “residents of the Ojai Valley can rest easier knowing he is watching out for them.”
Meixner is married to his wife, Cathy, and they have four sons. He is a member of the Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. team, and he has bachelor’s of science degree in business administration.