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.
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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 [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.