County Sheriff’s office shakes things up |

County Sheriff’s office shakes things up

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Three South Lake Tahoe law enforcers for El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department will be moving to new desks and responsibilities starting Feb. 22.

The most dramatic is Capt. Fred Kollar’s move to undersheriff. Kollar doesn’t intend to move from his South Lake Tahoe home and will commute the hour to Placerville. He takes the place of Jeff Neves, who became sheriff in January.

Sgt. Randy Peshon received a promotion to lieutenant and will oversee the daily operations of El Dorado County Jail. Lt. Les Lovell, who had the responsibility of being the head of the jail, will become head of patrol.

Unlike Peshon or Lovell, Kollar didn’t plan on being involved in law enforcement during his early years. Kollar was coaching football 28 years ago when his friend pressured him into taking the police test with him.

“I primarily did it for a buddy of mine,” Kollar said. “I got hired and he didn’t. It’s one of those things I stumbled into but I enjoyed it ever since.”

Kollar spent his first five years with the San Francisco Police Department. He moved from San Francisco to become involved in the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Kollar has taken roles in patrol, courts, jail, as narcotics sergeant, running a task force, investigation and internal affairs. He has climbed the ladder from sergeant to lieutenant to captain.

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Now the former football coach is in charge of 385 employees and about $36 million. He jokingly described his math skills as “pretty decent.”

Kollar hopes to rebuild relationships after an election between Neves and Sgt. Larry Hennick created a split in the department. Increased community outreach, running the department like a business and letting employees know of their importance are areas Kollar would like to focus upon.

With budget cuts looming, Kollar plans to keep vacancies open while keeping jobs. Once he leaves his captain position, where he supervised patrol in South Lake Tahoe and Placerville, it will not be filled.

“The last thing I want to do is walk up to somebody we just hired and say, ‘Sorry, but due to budget cuts we’re going to have to let you go.'”

Neves said he and Kollar share the same leadership values and commitment to community.

“Fred is just one of those rare individuals who just has a high energy drive,” Neves said.

Peshon will move up a rank when he moves into the chair occupied for three years by Lovell. Peshon will assume jail responsibilities a day after Lovell submits the facility’s budget.

With 16 years serving El Dorado County and six before that in the Bay Area, the family-man will take on unfamiliar administrative duties.

“All the things I didn’t have to worry about before, now I have to worry about,” Peshon said jokingly.

During his short vacation, Peshon has taken information home to read up on policies and procedures. He has met with Lovell and staff members to acquaint himself with the new job.

“Right now the jail is being run very well by the staff and it’s going to be a real challenge working in there because I never worked in there,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Next week, when the moves take place, Lovell will become a lieutenant in command of Tahoe operations. It marks the first time in five years when two lieutenants at Tahoe will be in charge of operational and custody matters.

Lovell, who began his career with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department 22 years ago, said he will miss his staff of nearly 50 employees but looks forward to the diverse aspects of his new job.

“We have, I think, the best staff in the jail right now than we ever had,” Lovell said. “They’re true problem solvers willing to take on any issue.”

In the past three years, the jail under Lovell received excellent marks from the El Dorado County grand jury. In addition to the Tahoe moves, Placerville Detective Mike Silvestri was promoted to sergeant and will likely be assigned to the Tahoe substation. Dave Stevenson, a patrolman in Placerville, will be a detective in the narcotics division.