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Newman Police Sgt. Chad Earle retired Jan. 15 after nearly 18 years with the local department.

NEWMAN - Sergeant Chad Earle, whose law enforcement career spanned nearly 18 years with the Newman Police Department, has retired to pursue business interests.

Earle will remain with the department as a reserve officer.

Earle said a desire to serve the country in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States inspired him to pursue a law enforcement career.

Earle said he was interviewing for a job in Gustine when he caught the attention of Ed Katen, a Newman officer who sat on his oral interview board, and wound up being hired in Newman instead.

He has had opportunities elsewhere since that time, Earle said, but chose to stay in Newman.

“The community kept me in Newman,” he stated. “I have enjoyed the people I have worked with. The family atmosphere (of the department) is probably the best part of it, and the fact that you actually get to do every aspect of law enforcement.”

Earle has held a number of responsibilities with the department, including range master, K-9 supervisor and field training officer.

He assisted with the development of the department’s K-9 unit in 2008, and was involved in the establishment of the Newman Police K-9 Association.

Former Newman officer Jason Hutchins initiated the idea of creating a K-9 unit, Earle noted.

“I started helping with it, and we just kind of ran with it,” Earle explained. “We got two dogs, and we were each chosen as a handler.”

Police Chief Randy Richardson said Earle’s leadership has been an attribute to the local department and been instrumental in helping bring consistency and stability.

He said veteran officers such as Earle have helped NPD transition from being known as a training ground for other departments to an agency in which a core of “officers who have 10-plus years who are not looking to go anywhere else.”

“We have been very fortunate to have Chad,” the chief stated.

Earle found a home in Newman in more ways than one.

He operates a local custom wood and metal works business which will now become a full-time venture. But, Earle stressed, he also wants to remain active as a reserve officer.

“I still live here and don’t plan to move,” said Earle. “It is a great community, a great place to raise a family and have a business.”

His retirement prompted a reshuffling of the administrative ranks. Former Corporal Ashley Williams has been promoted to sergeant to fill Earle’s spot in the department’s chain of command. William Parrott has been promoted to the corporal position created by Williams’ promotion.