Public Safety

Law Enforcement, Community Unite to Honor Slain Girl

Some members of Team United that ran/ walked for Finish Chelsea's Run.
Some members of Team United that ran/ walked for Finish Chelsea's Run.

Every day, the San Diego County Probation High Risk Sex Offender Unit monitors people convicted of various sex crimes and enforces Chelsea’s Law, which strengthens punishments for sex offenders who commit crimes against children.

That is why a San Diego County Probation officer, who works in that unit, formed “Team United” to take part in Finish Chelsea’s Run, a 5K run/walk in honor of Chelsea King who lost her life on March 20, 2010 to a sexual predator.

“We stand for Chelsea’s Law, and we work for it, so I thought the Probation Sex Offender Unit should be part of it,” said Officer Michelle Garner, who wanted to show support for the King family, the family of Amber Dubois, who was killed by the same offender, and other sex crimes victims.

Chelsea’s Law ensures sex offenders are being supervised through a collaborative approach involving a probation officer or parole agent, a treatment provider, a polygraph examiner, and victim advocates.

“We’re a very proactive unit and we are out there making sure the probationers we supervise are held accountable to prevent them from committing more crimes,” said Supervising Probation Officer Ron Vann, who registered for Team United. “I wholeheartedly support the idea and I support Chelsea’s Run and what it’s trying to accomplish. So often we forget the victims and we focus just on the sex offender and what we’re going to do with them.”

While Garner did invite law enforcement departments across the County to take part she said the idea behind the team was for it to include the community as well. So she reached out to other County departments, the Sage Creek High Schools girls basketball team, and the Boys & Girls Club of Bressi Ranch.

More Team United members at last Saturday's Finish Chelsea's Run.
More Team United members at last Saturday’s Finish Chelsea’s Run.

At the March 4 race, 39 people were registered for the team. Among those represented were: the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Escondido Police Department, El Cajon Police Department, and Federal Probation, Health & Human Services Agency, and the Office of Revenue & Recovery Collections. A cut-off date for team signups prevented some people from registering for the team, so Garner said she plans to start recruiting earlier for next year’s team run.

“Together united we can light up the darkness and make a difference,” said Garner.

The proceeds of the run/walk help raise money for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation Sunflower Scholarship Fund. The fund awards scholarships to San Diego County college-bound students who are not only academically strong but also are service-oriented.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact