As a Nevada Union High School student, I never imagined that one day I would serve as the City of Grass Valley’s sixth police chief. Here I am today, with the best job in the world: serving the very community that has provided me with this opportunity—a community that for those of us who get to live here, has shaped us as much as we may shape it.
My parents built their home on lower Banner Mountain in the early 1980’s. The areas above Loma Rica Ranch and the NID canals were part of my “backyard playground.” As the youngest of three boys, I had plenty of opportunities to discover all that western Nevada County has to offer. In fact, I “learned to swim” with a little direction from my older brothers tossing me in a NID canal—of course, being who I am now, I must advise readers that this is not the preferred method—but I survived.
I went to Nevada City schools, attended Deer Creek Elementary and Seven Hills Middle School before moving on to Nevada Union High School. My wife, Erica, went to Grass Valley schools, and we formally met at Nevada Union. However, because of the small-town connections in western Nevada County, we are sure our paths crossed many times before. Our boys are repeating some of our past. Interestingly, our oldest has been educated by some of the same folks who helped shape my life on the same campus at Deer Creek School.
After high school, I went away to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. There