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Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Jim Uptegrove

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Mavrey and Jim Uptegrove

By Terra Avilla

It is with very sore arms I write this week’s article. Sore arms because I was lucky enough to spend the past two days participating in a rifle training course with other law enforcement officers. I knew the class was going to be fun (getting paid to shoot is definitely a perk of the job), but my heart instantly became so joyful when I saw who was leading the class in instruction – Jim Uptegrove.

Now, I will always call him ‘Chief’, because that is the context in which he entered my life.

A couple of years ago, Chief Uptegrove agreed to act as the Police Department’s interim Police Chief. After getting to know him, it’s obvious why he was chosen. He encompasses so many traits needed to run a police department; Integrity, leadership, passion, accountability, creative problem solving and on and on.

I may have met Chief Uptegrove through the police department, but he is so deeply engrained into our community that I am kind of surprised I didn’t know or meet him earlier.

Prior to working at the Police Department, Chief Uptegrove worked part time as a boat deputy for the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department, one of the many talents and services he provides their agency.

Uptegrove also was one of the main driving forces of our community’s ‘Neighborhood Watch’ programs and started Lassen County Crime Stoppers.

Chief Uptegrove is husband to his beautiful wife, Mavery, and is a great father and a loving grandfather.

He is approachable and likeable, however watching him teach the rifle course, it’s blatantly obvious he is tough and tactical… and all of the other really cool words you would use to describe a seasoned Peace Officer. (He retired as a lieutenant from Galt PD prior to coming to Susanville).

I remember the very first time I had a conversation with Uptegrove. It was his very first day as Chief and it just so happened to be the day a woman told me she was going to make a complaint against me. Not exactly how I wanted him to meet me.

He, however, had a very calming demeanor as I sat in his office and explained that there was a possibility that he might be receiving a complaint against me. He sat there and nodded as he listened to me ramble on and on as I tried to explain what had occurred, and that I’m not usually this difficult to supervise. He has the perfect temperament for a leadership role.

Since he left the Police Department, every time I see him, he always makes an effort to stop what he is doing and say hello. He has a genuineness about him that I have noticed is in only very few people.

He is definitely a person who tries to make things better, not out of any sort of gain for himself, but because that is what he wants to do. Make things better. Help people.

Make people better versions of themselves.

So yes. The past two days were really fun, shooting and doing drills. Cool stuff. Being taught by one of the best people I know? Even better. Our community is better because he is here. Our community is safer because he is here.

Jim Uptegrove is definitely one of the reasons I love the place we live.

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