Supes appoint McGarva as Lassen County Sheriff

There’s a new sheriff in town — John McGarva — appointed this morning, Tuesday, Feb. 13, by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors to fill the remainder of former Lassen County Sheriff Dean Gowdon’s unexpired term. Growdon retired in January.

Lassen County Sheriff John McGarva.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I’m honored the board chose me to be the next sheriff,” McGarva said.

And he acknowledged he’s got some big shoes to fill.

“Sheriff Growdon was an outstanding sheriff, who definitely was, dare I say, a community icon,” McGarva said. “He pretty much paved the way, and did a lot of great things for this community. I can’t replace him — I can only hope to succeed him.”

McGarva also acknowledged the challenges facing the sheriff’s office. He said he’s learned to more with less, and thanks to his experience working in the jail, he’s ready to address the staffing shortages there. And he said he’s also working on getting deputies assigned to outlying areas in the county.

“Covering a county the size of Connecticut is daunting to say the least,” McGarva said.  “It’s hard to think about until you make that comparison. That’s one of the issues — getting the county covered, and then there’s the constantly changing legal issues …  There’s a lot to tackle. I’m looking forward to getting in and getting my hands dirty.”

Veteran officer
McGarva is a veteran with the LCSO. He’s been with the department for 23 years. He began as an Explorer when he was only 16 years old. He said he grew up in the department and was hired to work in the jail in 2001, went to patrol in 2005, worked in Westwood for a year, served as a detective for three years (handling everything from welfare fraud to homicide), promoted to sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2019 and captain in 2020.