There’s a new sheriff’s lieutenant in town – in Live Oak, there is.
With the recent retirement of longtime Lt. James Casner, the position in charge of the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office Live Oak substation was open for the first time in a long time.
Another longtime Sutter County Sheriff’s Office officer has stepped into that spot.
Lt. Chad Niswonger has been on the job for a few weeks and is enjoying working in the Live Oak community.
Niswonger graduated from Marysville High School, served in the military, and then worked for Bi-County Ambulance as an EMT, also working at Rideout Hospital for a time as a lab assistant.
But he’d always been interested in law enforcement – just a bit concerned about the strain the long hours and stress of working in the field can put on a marriage.
“Finally, my wife said, ‘Just go to the academy. We’ll make it work,” Niswonger said.
And make it work the Niswongers have: They’ve been married 24 years. Tessa Niswonger is a nurse at Enloe Hospital in Chico.
Niswonger joined the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office as a correctional technician in the jail in October 2000. He attended the law enforcement academy at Butte College in 2002 and was sworn in as a SCSO deputy soon after graduation.
Over the years, Niswonger has worked in patrol, Special Enforcement Detail, the gang unit, and as a field training officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2007, working several different assignments including the narcotics team and the gang task force.
He became a lieutenant in March 2015.
With Casner’s retirement earlier this year, Niswonger felt he was ready for the administrative challenge of running a substation, and spoke to Sheriff J. Paul Parker about it.
Niswonger said he’s been grateful to have Casner’s counsel and help as he transitions into his new job in Live Oak.
“The guy is irreplaceable,” Niswonger said.
Niswonger said he’s worked in Live Oak, so he’s familiar with the community.
“It’s a great community,” Niswonger said. “They do a lot for the residents. It’s amazing for such a small town to have so much.”
Support from the Live Oak municipal government has been crucial in maintaining a good relationship with the community, Niswonger said.
Niswonger said he enjoys getting out from behind his desk and working with the public.
“We’re here to serve the public,” Niswonger said.