Winters PD welcomes newest officer

Officer Jesse Sanches was sworn in on April 4, 2022 as the newest officer at Winters Police Department. (Courtesy photo)

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Officer Jesse Sanchez was sworn in as a full-time officer on April 4, 2022. (Courtesy photo)

The Winters Police Department has always stood by its motto of ‘Service With Integrity.’ True to the words, last month Winters PD welcomed Officer Jesse Sanchez into the ranks to embody the courage, professionalism, respect and accountability the town has come to expect out of those who protect it.

Police Chief John P. Miller said Sanchez was sworn in as a Winters PD reserve officer on Nov. 22. He was officially sworn in as a full-time Winters PD officer on April 4.

A relatively local kid, Sanchez grew up down I-80 in Rosemont. The inspiration to become an officer, however, came from hearing all the stories about his grandfather who was a deputy for Mendocino County. Teeming with ambition, Sanchez got his feet wet policing on the Los Rios College campus where the experience only fueled his fire to continue down his career path in law enforcement.

“Working at Los Rios made me want to become a police officer even more — just watching the police work and everything like that. It inspired my interest in wanting to help people,” Sanchez said. “My brother is a police officer as well at Lincoln PD. So, we both serve in small towns.”

Winters is surrounded by other towns with police departments that offer higher salaries and even signing bonuses. With these lucrative opportunities within reach, Sanchez still chose to serve in Winters. While this fact may baffle others, Sanchez’s drive to serve Winters is a passion that simply can’t be bought out.

“I mostly like the small-town vibe and getting to know the people who live here. In bigger cities, nobody knows who you are,” said Sanchez. “I like to be involved in community activities just to let people know who I am and let them know I’m somebody they can talk to and have a conversation with. Mostly I’m just wanting to know the community I’m working for, their history and what they’ve been through.”

Miller said Winters PD is happy to have him.

“He chose to work here at Winters and was willing to commit to becoming a reserve with us until a full-time opportunity presented itself. To display that level of commitment and dedication promises to make him a valuable asset to the department and to the community,” Miller said.

Although still new to the town, Sanchez is a big fan of cold-brewed coffee and is looking forward to trying Steady Eddy’s for the first time. Beyond his affection for coffee, Sanchez seeks to build a strong trust between himself and the citizens he protects.

“Being seen, and being known and talking to people — they can feel your vibe and build a trust. If you’re somebody who just sits in your car all the time that won’t happen,” said Sanchez. “Being more personable with people, coming out of your car to speak with them and not being rude makes it easier builds trust, too.”

Although Sanchez clocks in as a police officer, off the clock he’s an accomplished jiujitsu artist who’s won a handful of competitions, teaches children’s classes when he has time and has even been featured on Fight 2 Win pay-per-views.

“They call me ‘Smashchez’ because I’m always a top person who, I guess, smashes people,” Sanchez sheepishly admitted to his humble yet passionate prowess as a jiujitsu artist. “I weighed about 275 when I started jiujitsu, and I lost at least 80 pounds during that year just doing jiujitsu. Even when I was younger, I weighed around 300 pounds, and then I lost it all one summer and got down to 195 because I wrestled too. I just get after it every darned day.”

With determination both personal and professional, Winters can take solace that another hard-working, true-blue officer is around to keep the peace.

The community can learn more about all of the Winters PD officers by visiting the “Behind the Badge” series on the Winters PD website

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