Optimists honor pair for commitment to community

Robert Arthur and Kirk Raymond, headshots.
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Sheriff’s Dep. Robert Arthur thinks of his three young children when he responds to a domestic violence dispute and sees a young child caught in the middle of a heated family argument.

“You’ve got a 4- or 5-year-old that can’t grasp what’s going on between Mom and Dad,” said Arthur. “We get a lot of calls when there’s so much tension between the parents the courts rule their kids have to be passed from one parent to the other in front of a police officer.”

Arthur, a detective with the Camarillo Police Department, said his favorite part of working in law enforcement isn’t arresting the bad guy—it’s working with children.

The Ventura County sheriff’s deputy said he often gives children stickers or flashes the police car’s lights so youngsters have a positive experience with the police department.

“If I can make them smile or laugh, I know I’m being a role model and they don’t have to be scared,” said Arthur, a graduate of Adolfo Camarillo High School.

Arthur is one of two Camarillo residents who received public service awards from the Camarillo Noontime Optimist Club during the club’s 28th annual Installation and Awards Dinner at the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club Sept. 28.

Arthur received the enforcement officer of the year award, and Kirk Raymond, a counselor at Rio Mesa High School, was given the club’s educator of the year award.

“To get recognized for the day-to-day things we do, it’s an honor,” said Arthur, who joined the force in 2008.

Arthur was inspired by family members to join law enforcement. He initially worked at the Ventura County Main Jail. Arthur’s father, police Sgt. Steve Arthur, won the same Optimist Club award in 2000.

The deputy thanked the club for appreciating his work and said he enjoys making a difference in his community every day.

Raymond, who has been a counselor at Rio Mesa High School for 17 years, said he also likes to work with youths and help them figure out their life goals.

“Some students are indecisive because they have so many options and have trouble narrowing it down,” Raymond said. “I have the opportunity to explore where their strengths and interests lie and develop a course of study that helps them towards a successful career.”

The 55-year-old educator was a music and video production teacher for 14 years within Oxnard Union High School District. He was also the band director at Rio Mesa and said music is a powerful tool.

“It was fun teaching students new things and to see the expressions on their faces when they created a new noise,” Arthur said.

The counselor said the award was unexpected and he was humbled and honored to receive it.

The club will honor Camarillo resident Scott Quirarte with its firefighter of the year award. His award ceremony was postponed because he was unable to attend the dinner due to a fire.

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