County keeps fire official

District Four Supervisor Darrell Robinson (left) listens to his colleagues talk business during a board meeting on Thursday. District Two Supervisor and Board President Chad Bridges (center) and County Engineer Robert Willis were also present. Staff Photo / Galen Holley

Staff Writer

   Grenada County Supervisors voted Monday to retain the current county fire investigator and to accept a state grant for emergency service training.
   Deputy Jesse Gonzales Sr., will stay on as fire investigator, even though he’s officially retired.
Gonzales, 62, hung up his badge and gun as a deputy in March, after 27 years in law enforcement. He served as County Fire Investigator since 1999, after earning his credentials.
Sheriff Alton Strider recommended that the board retain Gonzales as investigator, on  a part-time basis.
   “Deputy Gonzales is an invaluable part of the investigative team here at the SO,” said Investigator Josh Dale. “It’s a blessing to retain a long-time employee and a seasoned law-enforcement and investigative officer like Jesse, who has 15 years of experience in investigating fires.”
   Gonzales worked for 17 years with the Sheriff’s Department and for 10 years prior to that with the Grenada Police Department. He served as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam era.
   By law, Gonzales couldn’t officially work as fire investigator for 90 days after his retirement, but he’s been investigating fires since that window expired.
   “They might hire somebody full-time in the future, but I’m happy to serve in the interim,” said Gonzales.
   District One Supervisor Michael Lott made the motion to approve Gonzales as fire investigator, seconded by District Four Supervisor Darrell Robinson. The vote was unanimous.

For the full story, see the online edition or the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.

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