College offers opportunity to thank law enforcement


Next week community residents have an opportunity to publicly acknowledge our local law enforcement officers from the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol.

Lassen Community College hosts the second annual Back the Badge event Thursday, Feb. 9. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate this year — last year’s event was held during a snowstorm and even featured a 20-minute power outage.

Glen Yonan, the college’s athletic director, said while some law enforcement officers around the country suffer loud criticism and get a bad name, our local community truly appreciates our officers and the contribution they make to public safety.

The evening begins as the college hosts a private dinner for the officers — both current and retired — and their families. Jim Uptegrove, the city’s former interim police chief, will be the keynote speaker.

Our local officers will be recognized later that evening during halftime of the men’s basketball game against College of the Redwoods in the college’s Sports Complex. The women’s team plays at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game begins at 7:30 p.m.

The local law enforcement community has experienced some changes in the past few weeks. Uptegrove recently stepped aside after taking over the department due to the retirement of former chief Tom Downing last year.

Uptegrove, a retiree, could only serve a limited number of hours without affecting his retirement, and now the city has hired John King as the new chief. King previously served as an officer from South Lake Tahoe.

And local law enforcement officers have made some significant busts, taking quantities of hard drugs off the streets in recent weeks.

It’s time to tip our hats to the men and women of law enforcement who put their lives on the line to protect each and every one of us every time they put on their uniforms.

Thank you, and well done.