Addition of two officers should help department’s staffing shortage
Stretched thin in terms of manpower as of late, the Truckee Police Department was proud to introduce new officers Melinda “Mindy” Morter and Arnulfo “Arnie” Lopez to the Truckee community on Wednesday.
According to Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry, the two new officers will help meet the policing needs of the growing Truckee community while maintaining the high standard of public service that officers in the department hold themselves to.
“They’re both excellent people, quality people, and I’m glad they’re here,” Berry said. “I expect they’ll do a great job and fit right into the community and be a part of the community.”
Officer Morter joins the Truckee PD from Southern California where she worked as a police officer for the City of Oxnard, the City of San Buena Ventura and Ventura County. She brings with her experience as a detective, a hostage negotiator, a canine handler and a patrol officer.
Morter made the move to this area to live with her fiancee Ray Kahle in Reno.
“I was looking for job opportunities in the Reno area and I saw an opportunity to apply in Truckee,” Morter said. “So I went ahead and filled out my application, went through the testing process and got hired. But it wasn’t just that I was looking for a job; I had been through this area a lot and I just love the area and I thought it would be a great chance to actually work in an area that has four seasons and that actually has some snow to work in… I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to look for a job up here.”
Morter hopes to be able to quickly learn the Truckee area and adapt gracefully to the colder climate in Truckee.
As a certified Emergency Medical Technician, Morter also hopes to be able to get involved with a local fire department or one of the search and rescue services in the area.
While Officer Morter might take some time to adapt to the town of Truckee, Officer Lopez already feels at home.
Lopez, a 1994 graduate of Tahoe Truckee High School, grew up in Truckee and comes to the Truckee PD from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office where he served as a correctional officer since 2000.
Lopez recently put himself through the POST Basic Academy at Yuba College and graduated in December.
Currently, he and his wife, Kimberly, live in Kings Beach, and he is happy to be able to serve the community he is so familiar with.
“I just wanted to serve the community that I’ve grown up in and give back to my community,” Lopez said. “I didn’t really expect to get hired here in Truckee … it came out to be a dream come true. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now.”
Lopez’s goals include providing better service to Truckee’s Hispanic community (he is bilingual) and being a role model for kids in town.
“Once I get settled in I’d like to hopefully help out juveniles as far as getting them started on the right track and stuff like that,” he said.
“Basically (I want to) give back what several officers in town did for me when I was a kid,” he said. “That’s what interested me and what got me interested in law enforcement when I was a kid.”
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As of Wednesday, 78,186 doses have been administered to Nevada County residents, according to the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.