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Native son returns as deputy sheriff

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer

Tom Klundby is the epitome of a public servant.

Plumas County’s newest deputy sheriff has been risking his life for his country since the day he graduated from Portola High School in 1996.

Klundby spent four years in the Marine Corps after high school. After finishing his time in the Marines, he responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by joining the Army.

After three and a half years in the Army and two tours of duty in Iraq, Klundby returned.

But his career as a public servant was far from finished.

Two years ago he became a corrections officer at the Plumas County Jail.

June 9, Klundby graduated ninth in a class that began with 56 students at the Butte College Law Enforcement Academy.

“I’m just glad he’s on our side,” Sheriff Greg Hagwood said, beaming as he glanced at the hulking, 6-foot-3 deputy.

“We were thrilled to hire Tom as a deputy and send him to the academy,” Hagwood said. “He continued to distinguish himself as just a quality candidate and he did exceptionally well as evidenced by the award that he received.”

Klundby was awarded the Joel “Joey” Lindstadt Memorial Scholarship for his outstanding achievements at the academy.

The officers and dispatchers of the Paradise Police Officers’ Association awarded the honor.

“I never had the pleasure of knowing Officer Lindstadt (who died in 2010 after a battle with cancer),” Hagwood said. “But his family was there to present Tom the award. It’s just a reflection of his outstanding effort and abilities.”

Despite his glowing resume and years of public service, Klundby said he feels very fortunate to be a deputy.

“I feel very lucky,” Klundby said, noting that only 25 of his original 56 academy classmates graduated, in part because there just aren’t many law-enforcement openings in this tough economy.

“Wherever I end up (as a deputy in the county) I will be happy,” he said.

Klundby is beginning the third week of his 16-week field-training program with the sheriff’s office. After the training, he will be stationed in the Quincy office or one of the county’s substations.

Hagwood said he would eventually like to see Klundby stationed in his hometown of Portola.

“That would be a huge advantage for our agency and for the citizens in Portola,” Hagwood said. “Tom and his family are very well respected in that community and have been for years. So I think it would be a wonderful fit for Tom to have a role in that community.”

Klundby agreed.

“I would love to work in my hometown,” he said. “I already have a repartee and know most of the people. I would really enjoy that.”


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