For the Public: Steve Ford, Nevada City |

For the Public: Steve Ford, Nevada City

Where I work: Nevada City Police Department.

My job title: Police officer

What I do in my job: I fight crime and corruption. I deal with traffic a lot and I give a lot of directions. I explain to people how to get to Nevada City and I make sure people are being nice to each other. Sometimes it is like being a game show host.

Why my job is important to the public: Because someone has to show up when things go wrong, when people run out of options and a decision has to be made. We show up and try and help out the best way that we can.

The special skills and talents I bring to my job: I really like people. I really care about people and I really try and understand them. I have a pretty good rapport with everyone, even the far out ones. So I guess heart, mild enthusiasm, energy on some days, and the way I listen to people.

The best part of my job: So many parts are great. Meeting people and being able to make a difference. Being able to affect change – that is the best part, because maybe they just need redirection. And the blue wool pants.

A day at work I’ll always remember was … : I used to be a sheriff’s deputy and my partner was Alicia Milhous. We herded a bunch of cattle off Mooney Flat Road one day and that was pretty cool.

How I got my job: I heard there might be a job opening and that this was a great place to work. Chief Trovato had the good grace to choose me.

How long I’ve been working here: I’ve been a cop in the county for four years and one and a half years here.

My dream job would be: I think I am doing it. I’ve got a great job in a great city.

My family: My wife, the lovely Shawndel, and I have three children.

My hobbies: I have to bicycle; it is more like a habit than a hobby. And music, I love music. I enjoy collecting rare books. And reading “Finnegans Wake;” it is a lifetime commitment.

When I was a kid: I did as little as possible, loafed, walked in the woods, ducked out of responsibility. Throwing rocks at objects was always fun. Mostly the loafing, I still enjoy loafing immensely.

My dream vacation: Go back to the homeland, Ireland.

If a movie were made of my life, I would be played by: Jack Black.

The people who have made the biggest difference in my life: My dad, Don Ford, was a big influence in my life. All three of my kids, huge differences. Police officers that I have worked with too numerous to name, and authors.

My hero: I certainly have men and women I really look up to and admire, but I don’t know if I’d call them heroes. I like Yoda a lot. And Dorothy Day, she just changed lives through sheer force of will and did a lot of good for a lot of people.

The best book I’ve read lately: “Finnegans Wake” by James Joyce is the best book ever, but the best book I’ve read lately was “Nature Noir” by Jordan Fisher Smith – I used to work with him as a park ranger.

I like living in Nevada County because: I love living in Nevada County, especially Nevada City. You’ve got to be open here or else they pry you open.


To suggest a civil servant for this weekly feature, contact Britt Retherford at or 477-4247.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


See more