Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Placerville police chief to retire


Placerville police chief George Nielsen stands next to a patrol car Monday at the police station in Placerville. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

From page A1 | February 15, 2013 | 14 Comments

First the Pope and now the police chief. Placerville Police Chief George Nielsen announced his upcoming retirement at Tuesday’s Placerville City Council meeting, effective May 17.

Nielsen, 50, has been in law enforcement for 28 years. He has been  with the Placerville Police Department for more than 24 years, serving nine of them as police chief.

“Most police chiefs serve an average of three years,” said Placerville Mayor Wendy Mattson, “but with serving as our police chief for nine years, you’ve become one of the senior chiefs in California.”

“I love what I do, but this is all I’ve done my whole adult life,” said Nielsen. ”This is bittersweet, but it’s an opportunity to be with my family and to explore new opportunities.”

In a statement he read before City Council, Nielsen said, “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the Placerville Police Department over the years. I extend my personal thanks to all the staff of the Police Department who have provided dedicated, loyal and professional service. I am confident that the Placerville Police Department will continue to move forward and thrive in our tradition of being dedicated to our partnership between the community and the police.”

The process for replacing Nielsen will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 26 said City Manager Cleve Morris. “We will also look at our options and talk about how we will move forward.”

While Morris and Nielsen had discussed the possibility of the chief’s retirement months ago, it wasn’t until recently that Nielsen came up with a specific date. “I discovered I had more than 30 years service retirement credit and the cap for retirement is 30 years,” said Nielsen. “So it’s time. Change is not a bad thing.”

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 14 comments

  • Paddy O'furnitureFebruary 14, 2013 - 5:52 pm

    Retiring at 50? As in 5-0? I've worked in the private sector all my life and do quite well, but I'll probably never get to retire.

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  • Foamie Mouth®February 14, 2013 - 6:32 pm

    Someone's gotta pay. Keep working ... and working ... and working. Maybe you've got children who will take you in when you're old and decrepit? That's sure enough what I'm counting on.

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  • James SmithFebruary 14, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Paddy, in all your years in the private sector how many times did you go to work and think someone could shoot you? How many times did you go to work and put your life on the line for a complete stanger? The Police Chief has dedicated his life to serving others. He deserves the chance to retire because he dedicated his life to protecting people like you and me.

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  • Tail Wags DogFebruary 14, 2013 - 8:03 pm

    If you believe for one minute that the Chief is retiring on his own, think again. There is a string of YouTube video exposing the Placerville Police Departments dirty little secrets. Ironically the city manager has been conducting an internal investigation into the truthfulness of these video's. After all the PPD employee's are interviewed comes the sudden retirement of the Chief. Watch

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  • Paddy O'furnitureFebruary 15, 2013 - 7:36 am

    James Smith, don't give me that garbage about "putting his life on the line" entitles him to retire 20 years before the rest of us. While I respect the dangers cops and firefighters face, everyone knows government employees have the best deals in town. Too good to last in fact. Ask the Greeks. And James, before you tell us again that the Greeks are in trouble because of tax evasion, don't waste your time. That's not the reason they're in trouble. They're in trouble because they pay their gov't employees galactic wages and let them all retire young while the public sector continues to slave away to pay the bills. This kind of plan has a short shelf life and we will see it here to before long.

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  • 830pcFebruary 15, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Paddy, you could have chosen the same path...... but you didn't.

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  • Paddy O'furnitureFebruary 15, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Yes 830pc, I could have chosen the path of a Greek, but decided a different direction. When our economy does what theirs is, the public retirees will be doing what theirs are.

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  • Harley RyanFebruary 15, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Let's not be dramatic. A small town cop is about as likely to get shot in the line of duty as any one of us are boarding a plane to Southern California. Luckily, the bipartisan effort in California trimmed down these sweatheart deals. Now I'm sure he'll go on to consult and make twice was he was, while drawing a pension. Cops and firefighters should not get to retire at 50. I know 50 year-old firemen who are making six figures while they drink cocktails on beaches around the world. Yes, it's a dangerous job, but no more dangerous than being a construction worker.

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  • Harley RyanFebruary 15, 2013 - 3:19 pm

    He'll be on the beach drinking cocktails, while drawing a pension and consulting at the same time. Thankfully, a bipartisan effort ended this retire at 50 bull crud this year. And yes, it's a dangerous job, but no more dangerous than being a construction worker.

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  • EDC ResidentFebruary 16, 2013 - 10:47 am

    Paddy- You sound like a miserable and bitter person. Congrats to the Chief on his retirement. After 28 years of dealing with Placerville's worst on a daily basis, may he enjoy time with his friends and family.

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  • Walking TallFebruary 16, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    Where there is smoke there is fire, just ask Ray and all one has to do is view the youtube videos and it is clear why he would want to retire.They speak volumes about his department and the players within,sure is close to the Sheriff's Department and all the illegal reported problems there.

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  • JayFebruary 17, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    I don't agree with Paddy on quite a few things but he does bring up a good point on this. I am a retired Gov worker and retired at age 50. Why? Because I could. Our union negotiated to give us that option. If they didn't, I would still be working and would be fine with it. I took it because I could and I also could have worked much much longer. I know that the Police and Sheriff have a tough job and I have respect for them, but it is costing us a ton of money for them to retire at an early age and also do you know what percentage of their salary that they get upon retirement? This also applies to the Fire Dept. I am pro both Depts but we really need to look at what it is costing us.

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  • Strange de Jim 2February 17, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    Paddy and the rest of you ingrates are just jealous. You made a conscious decision at some point, you all could have gone to work in a civil service job, with good benefits, and probably not so great pay. You, for what ever reason chose not to pick the government to work for, so quit your incessant whining... You're just a bunch of pathetic losers that picked the wrong jobs/careers, and now your angry at yourselves, yet decide to take it out on others!!! So quit whining, grow up and become an adult for the first time in your life---take responsibility for your own choices....

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  • Bill RandallFebruary 20, 2013 - 5:12 pm

    What a loss to El Dorado County; he has been a great Chief! Rather silly that we have a system that forces out experience and tallent. Through this weak retirement system, George gets paid more to be retired than if he was working. We wish him the best in his next career!

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