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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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March 20, 2013     Feather River Bulletin
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2A Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Feather River Bulletin Dan McDonald Managing Editor dmcdonald@plurnasnews.com Brodie Mitchell welcomes a challenge. He says it's impor- tant to leave his comfort zone and try newthings. So when the local Califor- nia Highway Patrol office needed a new public informa- tion officer, he went for it. In two years of patrolling Plumas County's roads on the graveyard shift, Officer Mitchell didn't have much contact with the public. "A lot of animals, but not too much exposure to human be- hags," he laughed. That has all changed. As of last month, Mitchell is the Quincy Area CHP's new public information offi- cer. It's a very people-orient- ed job that makes him the face of the department. It's a job he wasn't sure he was ready for. "This was a new challenge. It's something I knew I wouldn't be comfortable do- ing," Mitchell said. "Because, I wouldn't say I'm shy, but it's just like public speaking. ... I try to do the things that I'm not comfortable with to try and improve. I thought this would make me grow a little bit personally." In a rural post like Plumas County, the public informa- tion officer wears a lot of hats. In addition to answer- ing the public's questions, Mitchell will coordinate programs for area schools. His new duties also include court officer, evidence offi- cer, terrorism liaison officer, school bus officer and many more. The Grass Valley native's first test was doing the morn- ing CHP report on the radio. "That's something I was a lit- tle nervous about," he said. "But it's going real well." When it comes to chal- lenges, the 40-year-old has been meeting them and ex- celling most of his life. He served in the Navy from 1991 to 1999 and was part of Opera- tion Desert Storm. He was named "Sailor of the Year" his last year on the USS Kansas City. The ship was a combat oiler, which carried fuel, weapons and ar- tillery shells. Mitchell raised his eye- brows and grinned when he talked about being at sea on a ship packed with high explo- sives. "I never wanted to be at, tacked by sharks," he said, and then added jokingly, "so I figured I would just be on a ship that would just blow up and disappear if it ever got hit ... so I wouldn't have to worry about the sharks." After his military service, Mitchell dabbled in construc- tion and tried a career in the grocery business while at- tending California State Uni- versity Chico. At Chico State he earned a degree in social and behav- California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Brodie Mitchell says he is looking forward to the challenges his new job presents. Photo by Dan McDonald ioral sciences and met his wife of 11 years, Paula. They have two children: Isabella, 9, and Nolan, 7. Mitchell decided to try out for the California Highway Patrol ha 2007 after talking to a friend who was a flight Come support the unne at Pet Country lOam-4pm Pony Rides for the Kids Dummy Roping Tack Cleaning Food, Water & Baked Goods For Sale The money is going towards class trips with their horses. Your Local Full Service Pet & Feed Store 283-9605 362 Crescent St. Quincy (next to Feather River Fitness) paramedic. "He said it would be a good fit for me." After 27 weeks in the police academy Mitchell said it was "much tougher" than military boot camp he be- came a CHP officer in 2008. He worked in the San Jose office for three years before transferring to Quincy in Ju- ly 2011. He was named "Offi- cer of the Year" during his last year in San Jose. In San Jose, when he wasn't patrolling the highways, Mitchell worked in a unit that targeted Local CH P Dan McDonald Managing Editor dmcdonald@plumasnews.com The Califor~nia Highway Pa- trol last week named a new commander for the Quincy Area post. Lt. Joseph Edwards Jr. was selected to replace outgoing Quincy Commander Bruce Carpenter, beginning May 1. The CHP announced in Feb- ruary that Carpenter was transferring to become the commander of the Willows post. Edwards, a 23-year CHP vet- eran, is currently the his heart would race when he had to move a dead baby bear "If someone wants to off the road -- not knowing if come in and shoot the the cub's mother was lurking in the bushes a few feet away. breeze With met The former high-school please do... just bring wrestler compared the baby me a muffin, bear task to that of a NASCAR pit crew. "I would get out of the car, Brodie Mitchell CliP Public Information Officer gang activity. He was always busy. When he wasn't assisting with some of the average sev- en traffic accidents a day, he was doing violent crime extractions -- serving felony warrants on criminals.who were sometimes murder sus- pects. At the urging of his wife, Mitchell transferred to Quin- cy. It was a move that re- turned him to his rural roots, but he said it took awhile to adjust. "San Jose is so busy. A day down there is like a month up here," Mitchell said. Mitchell arrived ha Quincy with a lot of experience deal- hag with gangs. He was ready to put the skills, which earned him accolades in San Jose, to use in Plumas Coun- ty. "When I came up here, with all that knowledge, I asked, 'So where is the gang stronghold?'" Mitchell said. "And everybody said, 'What are you talking about? There isn't one.'" Instead, Mitchell learned to perfect his radar skills. He spent much of his time on the overnight shift removing rocks and dead or injured an- imals from the roadway. The task might seem bor- ing to some, but Mitchell said get the job done, and be back in the car before 10 seconds had elapsed," Mitchell said. "By the time I was back in the car I was breathing heavy." It's not a job he was trained or prepared for, but he adapt- ed. He also wasn't prepared for the dirty looks he got from Plumas County drivers. Mitchell arrived just as citi- zen complaints about local CHP tactics started appear- hag in the paper. "It kind of caught me off guard," Mitchell said. "Be- cause I went from a place that was screaming for more (CHP officers), and then I came up here .... I was trying to get my head wrapped around everything." Mitchell said he wants peo- ple -- especially kids -- to re- alize that police officers are just like everyone else. They are simply trying to do their job. , "I was a kid. I was scared of the police," Mitchell said. "But I want people to know that we are approachable. We all live here. We are just nor- mat guys. I want kids to feel like they can come and talk to me anytime." Mitchell said that goes for adults, too. "If someone wants to come In and shoot the breeze with me, please do," Mitchell said, and flashed his easy smile. "Just bring me a muffin." names new commander commander of th e E1 Centr0 office. He said he is looking forward to coming to Quincy. "I am excited to live in Quincy and to work with the squad there," Edwards said Thursday, March 14. "I can't wait to get back into the mountains again. E1 Centro is 50 feet below sea level and flat as a pancake." Edwards is a native of Fal- lon, Nev. He joined the High- way Patrol in 1990 after serv- ing in the Army. He began his CHP career in East Los Angeles before spending the majority of his time in CHP offices covering Donner Pass and Lake Tahoe. Edwards said he is looking forward to living in a place where he can ride his moun- tain bike again. "My mountain biking has suffered (in E1 Centro) " Ed- wards said. "I've already made contact with the Plumas-Sierra Bicycle Club to become a member and fix that problem." Carpenter, the Quincy Area commander since August 2010, said he will continue to split his duties between Quin- cy and Willows until Edwards arrives. O in Crescent Mills For the first time in 28 years, we will offer all items in the store (excluding display furniture) From March 20-May I We are offering this to thank our existing customers for their patronage and to encourage new customers to visit the area's most unique gift shop. And, of course, we hope to increase our cash flow during these most challenging times. We hope our discount will help you with your personal budgeting for the home and for any gift-giving plans for family and friends. Thank you, as always, Barbara, Lisa and Friends Open 7 days: Monday through Saturday: 10:30-5:30, Sunday 10-4 284-6016 Hwy 89, Crescent Mills Have you heard Talk of the Town with James Wilson? Local news every Monday from 7 to 7:30 p.m., replayed Thursday at 6 p.m and Saturday at 4 p.m. I Join Margaret Garcia each 2nd and 4th Thursday at 12:30 p.m. for Under the Covers, a discussion of books! Visit the web (www.kqny919.org) for more information! i!i~!ili:iii!~il;:i ACT NOW AND ALSO GET: FREE PREMIUM MOVIE CHANNELS for 3 months HB i ! ,' 0WIIME. I , l lZ. Offer subject to change based on premium channel availability. SWITCH TO DISH AND SAVE BIG! All offers require 24-month Agreement and credit qualification. Plumas Satellite Gerald: (530) 863-8929 Serving our LOCAL community Slnc e1989 ..... A HOR ED RETAILER ,