Wednesday , June 12 2024

Visalia Police Chief Expected to Step Back Due to Health

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<p>Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas has been diagnosed with breast cancer, Visalia Mayor Steven Nelsen confirmed Thursday.</p><p>Mestas&nbsp;had been on vacation for the holidays, and during that time had her annual mammogram. That’s when she learned of her diagnosis, Nelsen said, adding that he was able to share that information.</p><p>Thursday, Mestas informed the mayor, city manager and other city leaders of her health, Nelsen said.</p><p>The chief is expected to have treatment soon, and&nbsp;city leaders are in discussion about how to move forward, whether&nbsp;with an interim chief or with the chief stepping back permanently, Nelsen said.</p><p>&quot;It’s devastating enough when you hear about anybody, but when it’s your police chief and she’s a personal friend to me–you know, she’s in my prayers,&nbsp;I know she’s in a lot of the city staff’s prayers, and definitely the police department,&quot; Nelsen said.</p><p>Mestas is 49 years old and has been serving as the chief since 2009.<br /></p><p>Nelsen said the chief has done an excellent job in her role and in preparing her command staff should they need to fill in.</p><p>He said, no matter how the chief decides to move forward, city leaders will&nbsp;be supporting her decision.<br /><br /></p></div>

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