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Retiring Chief Spends Last Day on the Job

Reduced serious crimes and a homeless program are the things Lt. Pat Higa is most proud of in his 2 1/2 years as head of police services in Lake Forest.

Lt. Pat Higa's retirement became official Jan. 9 after 2 1/2 years as chief of police services in Lake Forest. Credit/Martin Henderson
Lt. Pat Higa's retirement became official Jan. 9 after 2 1/2 years as chief of police services in Lake Forest. Credit/Martin Henderson

By Martin Henderson

The City bid adieu to Lt. Pat Higa on Thursday as the retiring chief of police services in Lake Forest left his desk for the final time. For the past 2 1/2 years he has overseen Orange County Sheriff's Department activity in the city. 

The retiring chief has been replaced by Lt. Brad Valentine, who begins today. 


Higa, 52, said he's looking forward to retired life. 

"I'm fortunate I can do this now and spend time with the kids, though when I say kids, one's in the marines and one's going to college next year," Higa said. "Now it's my wife's turn."

He served as an administrative sergeant in Lake Forest for eight months prior to becoming the city's top cop and said there are two things he is most proud of during his time in that role. 

One of those is beginning the Homeless Liaison Officer program.

"We partnered with faith-based organizations to address a growing issue and it will have a long-term effect on the community," Higa said. "Deputy Robert Pequeno has done a phenomenal job."

He also addressed serious crimes in the city.

"The other thing I will take away from this job is the dedication of the deputies and sergeants," Higa said. "Their dedication has driven down Part 1 crimes 20 percent year, per the FBI statistics. That's a huge drop for a city this size. I'll walk away knowing these deputies take ownership of what's going on in the city. They care."

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