Nevada City hires ex-Truckee police chief Scott Berry |

Nevada City hires ex-Truckee police chief Scott Berry

Former Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry
Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun |

Former Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry has been hired as the interim Nevada City Police Chief, a city official said Wednesday.

Berry, who retired from Truckee in 2008, will begin duty effective Oct. 1, the day after outgoing Police Chief Jim Wickham’s last official day, said City Manager David Brennan.

The hiring of Berry was announced during the closed-door session portion Wednesday’s Nevada City Council meeting, Brennan said. The closed session occurred after the open-to-the-public portion of Wednesday’s meeting.

During his seven years with the Truckee police department, Berry was a chief for five years, serving as the young department’s second chief, Brennan said.

“He brought a wealth of experience to law enforcement in Truckee,” said Truckee Police Lt. Harwood Mitchell in a 2008 interview with the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union.

Berry has more than three decades of law enforcement experience. In Truckee, Berry, first as commander and then as chief, instituted his own brand of policing “community-oriented policing,” which focused on developing relationships in the community and working with residents to pro-actively prevent and reduce crime, the Sierra Sun reported.

Wickham’s role was officially retitled as an interim police chief earlier this year after the state’s employee pension program began to crack down on the practice of hiring part-time annuitants by smaller municipalities, a practice Brennan says has saved Nevada City millions of dollars.

Prior to his March 2012 hiring in Nevada City as a part-time police chief, Wickham retired after 37 years with the Mill Valley police department.

When Wickham was hired, city officials were up front about their intentions to eventually replace Wickham with a full-time chief once the city’s finances could absorb the cost as the nation climbed out of the economic recession. However, the state pension program pushed Nevada City to hire a full-time chief sooner than officials wanted.

Wickham previously told The Union that he plans to return to Marin County and spend time with his family, particularly his granddaughter.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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