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Quality of Life Deputy working to enhance our quality of life

Deputy Dana Chaney is the City of Mission Viejo’s new “Quality of Life” Deputy, a position designed to proactively address issues in this community of nearly 100,000 people.
A 10-year Sheriff’s Department veteran who’s been assigned to Mission Viejo for a year, Deputy Chaney is working to engage the community and tackle issues associated with homelessness, sober-living facilities, day laborers and problem houses in the City. She is also patrolling parks and trails on a mountain bike and training with different agencies to develop the best practices and bring them back to Mission Viejo.
“Community engagement is a big deal for the City,” she said. “Knowing there are deputies out and about in patrol cars and on bikes is meant to engage the community.”
While many cities have “Homeless Liaison Officers,” this is the first Quality of Life Deputy position for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“We are still in the implementation stages of addressing the homeless and being able to provide services where needed,” Deputy Chaney said. “Each city addresses its issues uniquely … it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. We’re trying to see what works best with our City’s needs.”
Deputy Chaney’s wealth of experience complements the position. For several years, she worked in the Collaborative Court program in Santa Ana where she dealt with people facing mental illness, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction.
“After 10 years on the job, my answer is still the same: I got into law enforcement to make a difference, even if it was one person at a time,” she said. “To me, that is making an impact in the community and giving people a better quality of life.”