Lieutenant Commander Ed Michalkiewicz, CHP sees many changes in Nevada County
Lieutenant Commander Ed Michalkiewicz, head of the CHP office in Brunswick since October, 2001, welcomes me into his office where golf mementos decorate the walls. Asked if he is a golfer, he smiles. “I try,” he says.
Michalkiewicz, who brings over 20 of experience with the highway patrol to his job, is married with two teenagers at home. He enjoys coaching his son’s and daughter’s athletic teams, but he winces as he confesses that he is dreading teaching his teenage daughter to drive.
After a chuckle about teaching a teen to drive, we turn back to business matters. When asked what changes he sees in our area, he points out that Nevada County is the 5th fastest growing county in California. “With Highway 49 being widened to five lanes, the south end of the county is booming. It’s very common to have people commuting to Roseville and Rocklin and we’re seeing more people commuting to the Bay Area,” he said.
Michalkiewicz, who oversees 22 employees and numerous volunteers, finds Nevada County very supportive of law enforcement and an enjoyable community to work in. “It’s a tight knit community; they care about their own,” he said.
“The Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council has been a great asset to public service agencies in Nevada County. It provides an avenue for those who want to contribute to public service agencies,” Michalkiewicz said. He pointed out how they have raised funds for training and provided funds for the Senior Community Volunteer program and the CHP Explorer program with the Boy Scouts. This latter program gives teens a positive outlet and steers them in the right direction, he feels.
The Council also helped pay for the anti DUI campaign poster, which features the five agencies and the motto: “Don’t get caught by the five. Don’t drink and drive”.
Michalkiewicz echoed many of the other leaders in the county when he talked about the tremendous working relationships among all the public agencies here. “We are able to iron out issues with each other. It’s good for the community, and we have to rely on each other in a crisis,” he said.
The CHP can provide additional resources to our county in an emergency, such as a fire or flood. “Within one to two hours, we can go statewide, if needed, and bring in additional personnel,” he said.
Senior volunteers, Jim Haire, Kurt Kalemba, spoke about how their program has restored and given out over 300 bikes during the last three years to the needy, schools and churches. All the parts and labor were donated for this effort.
They have also overseen ‘Bike Rodeos’, where they inspect bikes and helmets for safety and have the kids do an obstacle course.
They even provide helmets for those who need them and refreshments, all donated.
The 12 volunteers in this program, all over 55 and three of whom are
women, give over 200 hours per month to the efforts of the CHP.
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