Grass Valley Police Department honors detective, welcomes new officers |

Grass Valley Police Department honors detective, welcomes new officers

When Sara Perry was hired in 2011 by Grass Valley as a police officer, she said the career change from real estate “dumbfounded her family.”

Soon after her hire, she told The Union, “(Now) I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love everything about this.”

Eight years into her new life, Perry — who was recently named a detective — was honored Tuesday by the Grass Valley Police Department as its Officer of the Year.

Police Chief Alex Gammelgard told city council members the selection is a peer-driven process with nominations solicited from within the department.

The officer of the year exemplifies qualities such as hard work and dependability, he said.

“Beyond that, it has to do with character, the desire to mentor others, going the extra mile,” Gammelgard added.

Council members praised Perry, with Mayor Lisa Swarthout noting the crowd there to support her (including Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon) was a “testament to the commitment you show to community safety.”

“I’m so proud of (you),” Swarthout said. “This speaks volumes to who you are.”

Gammelgard also introduced a number of new hires: police officers Jonathan Brown and Kyle Newman; reserve officers Devon Bossi, Colton Duncan and Matt Whiting; information technology analyst Brad Kalstein; and community service officer Bryce Corkins.

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

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