David Matz is the City of Deer Park’s new Code Enforcement Officer. Matz will be helping Deer Park residents comply with city code on their property and the area outside of their homes.
Code Enforcement is about the civil code, not matters for criminal investigation, and so the penalties for breaking the code usually involve fines or liens instead of jail time – but Matz is no stranger to bringing criminals to justice. The highest priorities for Matz at the moment are following up on citizen complaints that have gone unaddressed since last October and November, encouraging citizens to cleanup abandoned vehicles, and ensuring the removal of trash to combat the creeping infestation of rodents. Less pressing issues involve unkempt yards and empty lots where Matz will communicate with landowners about the length of their grass and weeds, since the city code states that grass over one foot in length must be cut and kept under control.
Matz began his first career with the Los Angeles Police Department while studying at California State University in Los Angeles. After eight years, Matz had become a detective and he moved into federal criminal investigations as a Special Agent with the Justice Department. His career at the Justice Department lasted twenty-five years, and he served in a variety of locations including Texas, Nevada, Washington D.C., and Peru. Drug enforcement and interdiction was his primary job while serving with the Justice Department, and he retired from his career there in 1985.
Ventura, CA was the next stop in Matz’s career as he began investigating cold cases with the Ventura Police Department. Matz primarily solved homicides and rapes once new suspects were linked to the cases using their DNA. DNA testing was opening up new options for law enforcement and Matz stated that, “Eventually someone’s DNA would pop up. Now if you’re arrested they’ll take a swab of your DNA and that’s how they’re coming up with a lot of suspects.”
Thirteen years with the Ventura Police came to an end when Matz went to work with his son-in-law as a private investigator. Matz’s work there often involved providing protection for wealthy clients visiting California, or clients who were taking trips into Mexico and worried about kidnapping and ransom demands. He and his co-workers might take a trip to Disneyland or a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, and provide their clients the peace of mind to enjoy family time or shopping.
Other jobs have included working as security for a segment of Exxon-Mobil. While there, Matz stayed busy investigating incidents at offshore drilling rigs, or keeping tabs on Russian engineers and geologists working in an exchange program with Exxon-Mobil. Matz also spent time teaching Child Protective Services drivers “to be paranoid” when transporting children to and from visitations with birth parents, so that simple counter-surveillance techniques would keep at-risk children safe.
Now Matz will bring his decades of experience to bear on Deer Park’s code issues, and he’ll do so with a friendly smile and a people-first attitude. His hobbies focus on farming, mostly hay, and he says he likes “sitting back, drinking some coffee, and reading the newspaper. I read the newspaper everyday.” His wife has horses, and so a lot of hay goes to feeding them, while Matz is often on “poop patrol”. Matz also “intends to go to every City Council meeting” even though he isn’t required to, so that he can be aware of what is on citizens’ minds.