You might say that Lt. Rob Moore of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department was born to keep the peace.
His father was a police officer for the Visalia Police Department; his mother was the dispatch supervisor. He learned the dispatch codes at a very young age; on family vacations, the kids would spell out the names of passing towns using the Alpha-Baker-Charlie phonetic alphabet.
So little wonder then that Moore, after a few years lugging cases of Coke and Pepsi as a delivery truck driver, took his pedigree to the Sheriff’s Department at age 23.
“It’s always been part of my life. I grew up thinking it was cool to be a cop,” said Moore, the new station commander at the Sheriff’s Department’s Porterville substation. His brother Ron Moore, a sergeant with the Porterville Police Department, also adheres to the family tradition. Another brother served as an MP in Vietnam.
Moore, 50, has been rising through the ranks at the Sheriff’s Department since 1987, building a wide-ranging resume, everything from gangs and property crimes to working in the jail and as a field-training officer.
He assumes charge of the Department’s largest substation in both bodies and acreage, with 40 sworn officers who handle about 70,000 calls per year. He swapped positions Aug. 27 with Lt. Gary Hunt, who has Moore’s old job at the headquarters substation.
Moore, a Visalia resident, said he likes what he sees at the Porterville office, and no major changes are planned. “I think we have a pretty good group of men and women.”
Drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence, are the area’s biggest problems, Moore said, with the former often the cause of the latter. “Drugs and alcohol lead to many different crimes.”
He’s seen a lot of changes in law enforcement during his career, most notably the technological advances. GPS, in-car computers, better radios. Patrol vehicles, he said, have become “rolling offices.”
“Technology has helped us, but it also helps the criminal element as well,” Moore said, speaking inside his office in the substation, where scale-model cop cars share space on the shelves with photographs of his wife and five kids.
Moore said he’ll continue to work closely with other area law enforcement agencies, as criminals know no bounds.