Special to the Village News
Lt. Aldo Hernandez, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff's Substation, is moving on with a promotion to captain and reassignment. Interviewed last week, the popular commander said the likely schedule is for Thursday, March 23 (today) to be his final day, with a replacement lieutenant coming the next day. His replacement is Lt. Claudia Delgado.
"I had an amazing experience during my almost two years here," the former Marine said. "Everyone I met was very welcoming and friendly, both at the substation and in town. It was a bit difficult at first because I was not used to much public contact, being that I had spent several years in undercover units, but once I got comfortable, I tried to attend as many public events as possible. I really enjoyed connecting with the community and all the groups that extended invites to their events. The local stakeholders care so much about the town and the people that make Fallbrook, Bonsall, De Luz and Rainbow so special. I was very impressed by that."
Being promoted often comes with being reassigned, the bilingual commander said.
"Law enforcement comes with a lot of challenges," he said. "Public relations was just a small component of what I was tasked to do. While many frustrated people did contact me with a variety of issues during my tenure, I always made time to call them or meet them personally to address the problem. I was very pleased that the majority of people were very rational and understanding of our limitations and capabilities. I enjoyed having these tough conversations, because that is how we fix problems, by working together and taking ownership of things."
The station is having a small farewell get-together to recognize his impact on the station.
"I am so proud of the staff at the Fallbrook Sheriff's Substation, they worked so hard during unprecedented staffing shortages and did an amazing job responding and handling some significant critical incidents. Fallbrook is in good hands with our current staff; they have been fearless and decisive during very intense and dangerous situations recently."
He said his most memorable experience was being able to help the station custodian, who is a single mom with a nine-year-old son.
"Their apartment was a total loss in a residential fire locally," Hernandez said. "Deputies recognized her the night of the incident and we decided to help them out. Our staff donated cash, school supplies, clothes, furniture, etc. The Fallbrook Community Center staff also helped with donations and toys. When the little boy turned 10, he was not going to have a celebration because the incident had devastated them financially, so we threw him a small celebration at the station. I am not a sentimental person, but seeing our staff come together and making this happen gave me a lot of joy. There are some amazing people that work at the Fallbrook substation and while most people only see the uniform, they are amazing human beings."
Hernandez joined the Sheriff's Department in 2001 and has a vast amount of experience from serving in the jails, patrol, investigations, and narcotics and gangs.
"Being assigned to Fallbrook has been the greatest experience in my almost 22 years in law enforcement," he said. "I'm going to miss every aspect of it, and I'm torn that it's come to an end, but I'm grateful for the experience and the opportunity to serve this community. I will likely come back and retire in Fallbrook. I want to be a part of the volunteer corps that makes this town so special."