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New Colusa police officer has ties to region
The Colusa Police Department has a new officer.
Chad LeBlanc, 25, a 2004 Sutter High graduate who makes his home in Yuba City, was sworn in Tuesday night by Mayor Pat Landreth.
"I just want the community to know I am approachable if they have opinions or questions," LeBlanc said. "I am a small-town department guy."
And LeBlanc is familiar with the area.
"I've always duck hunted and fished in the area," said LeBlanc, who fished professionally for a couple of years. "And I have a couple of friends in the Sheriff's Department."
Those friends were the ones that tipped him to the fact there was an opening on the Colusa police force.
"I interviewed last year," said LeBlanc, who graduated from the Butte College Academy in December 2009.
The department was ready to hire LeBlanc then only to have the position cut because of budget issues.
But LeBlanc kept in touch, then became a reserve in February with the hopes of being hired full time when one of the officers was expected to leave.
LeBlanc replaces Leanne Knutson, the department's 2009 Peace Officer of the Year, who joined the Colusa County Sheriff's Department in April.
Interim Chief Ross Stark said he likes LeBlanc's enthusiasm.
"He's enthusiastic, level-headed, sensible," Stark said. "I like that in an officer."
One of his training officers, Sgt. Elven Tamez, said it also helps that LeBlanc has a sense of humor.
Tamez said the job can go from a very intense domestic violence situation to being called out to a barking dog complaint, so it helps to be able to laugh.
LeBlanc admits the training has been stressful at times, especially when having to juggle and prioritize four or five calls at a time.
He was expected to finish his full-time officer training on Friday, and would be out on the streets alone starting Tuesday.
LeBlanc said he became interested in a law enforcement career after visiting an uncle who is a corrections officer back East about 10 years ago.
The department is still one position down, but Stark said the City Council will be looking at possibly filling that spot in September.
In the meantime, Stark continues to wait on a contract to become the full-time chief, and losing the interim tag.
He said that could be decided as early as mid-June.