Chad Ellis sworn in as Nevada City Police Chief |

Chad Ellis sworn in as Nevada City Police Chief

It was a packed house of friends, family and fellow law enforcement officers as Nevada City Police Lt. Chad Ellis was officially sworn in Wednesday as the department’s newest police chief.

Ellis, a Bear River High School graduate, has been with the Nevada City Police Department since 2008. He takes over the position after a nine-month stint by Interim Police Chief James Leal.

Leal noted his mandate had been to identify the best person to take over the top spot in the department and called Ellis “just an outstanding individual.”

“He works his tail off, he has a heart of gold,” Leal said of Ellis. “He loves his town and he loves his police department.”

Ellis attended Sierra College and Yuba College Police Basic Academy, then was hired by the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. He came on board in Nevada City in February 2008 and was recognized as officer of the year in 2009. In 2015, he was honored by the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council for saving the life of a motorcyclist who tried to flee from a traffic stop and then collided with a truck.

“This is truly a blessing to me,” Ellis said after he was sworn in by City Clerk Niel Locke. “Just looking around the room, it’s a testament to the established relationship with our partner agencies … We have set a solid foundation for the (police department) and I’m looking forward to pressing ahead.”

As his last act as police chief, Leal honored new Sgts. Sean Mason and Luke Holdcroft.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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