Williams Police Department makes first hire under interim chief

Williams Interim Police Chief Randy Ulibarri officially welcomed a recent academy graduate with Colusa County roots to his department’s ranks during last week’s regular meeting of the Williams City Council.

Juan Grajeda joins the Williams Police Department after graduating from the Butte Police Academy on Dec. 9. His first day with the department was Dec. 12.

“I’d like to say that tonight is a big moment in the history of the Williams Police Department,” Ulibarri said. “Starting in August, when I was appointed as interim police chief, I said my top priority was filling the vacant positions… and not only filling those vacancies, but filling them with top-notch candidates who are going to make great contributions to this community. So it is with great honor, great pride, that I introduce our newest officer.”

Grajeda was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and moved to Williams with his family when he was 10 years old. They later moved to Arbuckle, where Grajeda attended high school. After graduating from Pierce, Grajeda moved to Sacramento to attended Sacramento City College. Grajeda then transferred to Sacramento State, from which he received a degree in Criminal Justice in 2010.

After a ceremonial badge pinning, for which a crowd of his family and friends were in attendance, Grajeda expressed excitement about beginning his tenure in Williams.

“I’d just like to say that I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, not only to be a part of this department, but to also serve the members of this community, being a part of this community, and I look forward to doing so for years to come. I want to say thank you to Chief Ulibarri, Lt. (Ed) Anderson, my family and my friends for supporting me throughout this process, and I look forward to the future.”

Department’s Recruiting efforts continue

In addition to the hiring of Grajeda, Ulibarri informed the council that he had received a completed background investigation for a lateral candidate, and that he hoped to have a preemployment psychological evaluation scheduled for them in the next few days.

“With holidays coming up, sometimes that is difficult, but as soon as we can get him in, we will,” Ulibarri said. “There is a second candidate’s background that should be completed by the end of this month.”

He added that there were three more applicants who were interviewed for a position last week, two of whom performed satisfactorily in the oral board interview and were being considered for a position.

With police academies starting up again in the early part of January, the department’s recruiting efforts will continue there as well.

“We will be visiting those academies and furthering our recruitment drive by enticing the recruits to come look at Williams and consider Williams as a police department they would like to work for,” Ulibarri said.

With Grajeda, the city still has four positions to fill.

“If all goes well, and I always keep my fingers crossed, these two candidates — if I can get them through the rest of the testing process — then I just have two vacant positions after that. I can’t put too many into the training program at one time, because I’ll run out of field training officers. We can handle three trainees at one time.” 

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net