Monday, October 3, 2022

Calaveras County Sheriff's Office -- Undersheriff Jim Macedo Retires

Calaveras County Undersheriff Jim Macedo

Story by Capt. Rachelle Whiting
Calaveras County Sheriff's Office

Undersheriff Jim Macedo has either worked in, supervised, or managed every division, unit, and team in the Sheriff’s Office during his career. It would be impossible to list all of his accomplishments and highlights throughout this time, however, here is some information to memorialize Jim:

Undersheriff Macedo holds degrees in both Biology and Criminal Justice Management. He is married to a prosecutor and they raised two sons during his time working for the Sheriff’s Office. He is second-generation law enforcement.

Macedo started working for the Sheriff’s Office on November 14, 1994. He carried his father’s service 357 Revolver as his first duty weapon. He was hired by Sheriff Bill Nuttall and worked through FIVE Sheriffs (including himself, but we’ll get to that later) throughout his 28-year career with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriffs Nuttall, Downum, Kuntz, Macedo and DiBasilio.

Macedo worked as a patrol Deputy during the days when you had to check out a portable radio as well as your vehicle and check them both back in at the end of shift because there were not enough radios or cars for everyone. At this time, the department had a total of two computers, both of which were located in Dispatch. Deputies hand-wrote their reports. I’m not making this up as a joke, this is fact.

Macedo was the Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Year in 1998. He worked on the Special Enforcement Team including monitoring 290 registrants. One highlight that Macedo remembers from working SET was when he identified a convicted sex offender from San Jose who was hiding out in the Forest Meadows area. Jim did surveillance for days and figured out where the suspect was located in order to take him into custody. We do not know who was more surprised about the arrest, the suspect, or the parents of the kids that the suspect was giving piano lessons to.

Macedo worked in Narcotics for years and held a position on the Narcotics Entry Team. For the newer Deputies, an assignment to work narcotics during those times is nothing like the current MET Team now. While working in an undercover capacity in Calaveras, Alpine, and Amador counties; Macedo made no less than a hundred undercover buys of all kinds of drugs including marijuana, meth, mushrooms, and MDMA, to name a few. During this time working Narcotics, Macedo and his team investigated and dismantled numerous clandestine drug labs. He once took down 2 labs in one day. During one notable case, Macedo and his Narcotics Unit co-workers investigated a Mexican National drug cartel that was producing 150 pounds of methamphetamine per cook. They coordinated seven search warrants served simultaneously to take down the drug ring. During his time working in Narcotics, Macedo also assisted detectives with numerous investigations including high-profile cases.

As a Field Training Officer, Macedo trained around 24 to 26 deputy sheriff trainees. That is quite a number of brand new deputies who cycled through Jim’s patrol car. Yes car, because according to Jim real cops drove the cars, not the SUVs. Some of those trainees are now Lieutenants with our Department. If you see the ones with a nervous tick, now you know where it started. Not to mention those of us that had to fight Jim during defensive tactics training when he wore the red man suit.

Macedo is a former Treasurer for the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and later spent time as President of the Sheriff’s Management Union.

He testified during the trial and death penalty for the Speed Freak Killers (Shermantine and Hertzog) serial killer case. He is a court-certified expert for testimony in narcotics and gangs in both state and federal courts.

Macedo was promoted to Sergeant and supervised shifts on patrol. For those of us that worked under then Sergeant Macedo, we got used to not knowing where Jim would pop up next to keep us on our toes and learning quickly how to write reports for the stuff that Jim would initiate.

Macedo spent about 3 years as a Lieutenant working as the Jail Commander and the Patrol Division Commander. He was involved for many years on SARB, the School Attendance Review Board.

12 years as a Captain, Macedo has helped lead the department’s upper management Sheriff’s Administration. This included through the Butte Fire in 2015 that devastated our county. With the unfortunate death of Sheriff Gary Kuntz, Macedo was our acting Sheriff from October 2015 to June 2016 until the appointment of our current Sheriff Rick DiBasilio, who would later appoint Macedo to the Undersheriff position.

Macedo has spent many years managing the Sheriff’s Volunteer Unit and is not only a leader amongst that group, but also a friend to many.

Macedo worked to create the new CSI position at our agency. He was also integral in getting our Budget Analyst position and the structure of our current Financial Division.

Macedo has provided testimony for state committees on various topics. He has lobbied and worked with other leaders in law enforcement in Sacramento and Washington D.C. for funding for our department.

Undersheriff Macedo participated in and completed Calaveras Leadership. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He received recognition by the California State Assembly and the California State Senate for his efforts in combating crime and serving victims. Undersheriff Macedo authored several articles about behavioral health interactions, which are published in the California State Sheriff’s Association and FBI National Academy magazines.

Macedo was awarded the Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor for his bravery and heroic actions during a hostage situation whereas the suspect had doused people with gasoline and was about to set the room on fire that included the suspect, hostages, and deputies.

Undersheriff Macedo is a long-time member of the California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA) Seconds in Command. With this, he is a coordinator for the group and is seen by his peers as a leader. In 2017, Macedo won the CSSA “John Sully Second in Command of the Year Award.

Undersheriff Macedo is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy and is currently the Sacramento Area representative and soon-to-be Vice President. With this, comes his involvement and participation in FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminars. He is a member of ATAP – Association of Threat Professionals. He is currently an instructor for the POST Management Course through the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium.

About the Author:

Captain Rachelle Whiting

Captain Rachelle Whiting is the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office Operations Bureau Commander. Over her 22 years with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, Captain Whiting has proven herself to be a fine leader who has received several awards and commendations from the Sheriff’s Office. They include Deputy Sheriff of the Year, Campaign Ribbons, Unit Citations, and Medals of Merit commendations. She will be promoted to the position of Calaveras County Undersheriff on October 8th, 2022. 

Editor's Note:

First, I want to congratulate Captain Whiting on her promotion. She's a fine officer and has worked hard to earn it. I really believe she deserves it.  

As for Undersheriff Jim Macedo, his actual date of retirement is October 7th, 2022. As a Volunteer at the Sheriff's Office, I have to say that I feel very privileged to have been there when the Sheriff’s Office wished him a very fond farewell at a small going away party. Congratulating him on his retirement, and then being part of those escorting him home, hearing him radio in 10-10 for the last time after a 28-year career, all was a real honor.

During his party, I enjoyed meeting some of the people who have known him for so many years. The fact is, that unlike most there, I've only known Undersheriff Macedo for a very short time. But, even though that's the case, during the short time that I've known him, he has always impressed me. And frankly, that's really saying a lot -- especially since most people stopped impressing me long ago. 

From what I know of him, he is a good man. He treasures his family and he's a man of good character in a world starving for such men. Since he's an old fashion, honest, brave, no-nonsense sort of lawman, I see him as a great American with true Cowboy values of courage, optimism, and hard work. Frankly, as for being one of the most well-rounded people I've ever met, I really believe he sets a great example of being a good role model for others.

As for him being very professional and still personable, he garners the respect and cooperation of others through his excellent leadership style.  This also extends to his understanding of people. I believe he is one of those rare individuals who is both street-smart and extremely intelligent while also having a wonderful ability to read people correctly. While those are all great attributes for anyone to have, they are especially important for a career law enforcement officer. 

So yes my friends, that's why I have so much admiration for Undersheriff Macedo. That's why I asked Captain Whiting if she would give me permission to print her story about him here on my blog. That's why I'm glad she did. And that's why I wish Undersheriff Macedo all the best.  

Tom Correa

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