New CHP commander in place at Gold Run

Andy Williams replaces Capt. John Arrabit
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Lt. Commander Andy Williams took charge of the California Highway Patrol Gold Run Area office on July 2. “I’m very excited because after being here for several months, (I realize) I’ve been dealt a pretty good hand,” Williams said. “I have wonderful people who work for me. I feel strongly about the level of service that my people provide the surrounding communities and the transient traffic on Interstate 80.” Williams succeeds Captain John Arrabit, now with the CHP Office of Employee Safety and Assistance in Sacramento. Williams, 42, manages three sergeants, two clerical staff, an automobile mechanic, a janitor, and currently 14 patrol officers and two special duty officers, who include the public information officer and front desk officers. The San Diego native is an 18-year-plus veteran of the CHP, starting his law enforcement career in 1994 in Blythe in Riverside County, then transferring to El Cajon in the San Diego area. “I transferred in 1997 to the Morango Station in San Bernardino County,” Williams said. “It’s a small office, very similar to Gold Run, in the high desert area. I spent nine years on patrol there.” In 2006, Williams was promoted to sergeant into the CHP headquarters in Sacramento, went to the Yuba/Sutter area as a patrol sergeant in 2009, and in 2010 was promoted to lieutenant at the highway patrol’s Sacramento Communications Center in Rancho Cordova. Williams recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management from the Union Institute. He played baseball at a San Diego community college and attended Kansas State University in Manhattan on a baseball scholarship, playing pitcher and first base. “I also went to San Francisco State University after getting injured,” Williams said. Williams just experienced the first local snow of the season this week. But whatever Sierra Nevada winter brings, he’s prepared for it. “It was nothing comparable to the amount of snow we’re going to see, but Morango weather went from 15 degrees to 115 degrees,” he said. Williams said he is always concerned about safety, especially now that the snow season has arrived. “I definitely would like to see everyone wearing their safety belts and reducing their speed,” because whenever there are slick roadways and inclement weather, “we see a spike in collisions and want to see people slow down because speed kills.” CHP Officer Todd Kettwig, public information officer in the Gold Run office, works closely with Williams. “I think he’s a good asset to the area, due to the fact that he’s highly involved with the community,” Kettwig said. “He has attended several of the local meetings such as the WAC (Weimar Applegate Colfax Municipal Advisory Council) in Colfax, and he does the Placer County Law Enforcement meetings (the PLEA, in which local law enforcement agencies, district attorney get to together to discuss growing concerns and interdepartmental cooperation). He’s involved with community sports in his area and a good family leader.” A community project coming up is the first annual Golf Classic tournament, taking place Monday, Oct. 29, at The Ridge Golf Club in Auburn. It is sponsored by the Gold Run CHP Area Squad Club, to benefit the families of fallen officers. “I have several instances where I have personally observed, not just officers, but all the employees with the department who were in a time of need and upon receiving assistance how much help that provided,” Williams said. The golf tournament will be an 18-hole event that will be played in a four-player scramble format. The entry fee is $95, which includes golf, range balls, cart, tee prizes and dinner following the tournament. To sign up as a foursome or as a single, contact Officer Chris Nave at 389-2205 or by email at Donations for the tournament can be sent to Gold Run CHP Squad Club, P.O. Box 123, Gold Run, CA 95717.