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Photos: Calif. sheriff’s office has two different sets of family members working together

A Sutter County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s father works as the training manager for the department, while a corrections lieutenant’s son works his way through the academy

By Angela Guglielmino
Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

SUTTER COUNTY, Calif. — Lieutenant Craig Hungrige is the training manager and the concealed weapon permit coordinator for the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, and he said that there is an interesting dynamic because his son, Deputy Devin Hungrige, is at the beginning of his career while he is at the end of his.

"(Currently,) I am a paper person,” Craig Hungrige said. “Once you start promoting, things change. Your first focus is no longer being in a patrol car, necessarily, and chasing people or handling calls for service.”

Conversely, Devin Hungrige is newer to law enforcement and currently does main office patrol work with the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office.

"(A difference is that) I am no longer, but, for example, Devin at his rank, he is a deputy coroner. So we go out to all of the deaths within the county of Sutter, and so that stuff is hard,” Craig Hungrige said.

Despite the weight of that kind of responsibility, Devin Hungrige said that while he was growing up, his dad did not seem to bring his work home.

“He pretty much had an off-switch. When he came home, he was Dad. When he went to work, he was a cop,” Hungrige said.

Along with Craig Hungrige’s effort to separate his work and home life, he even explicitly told his children not to go into law enforcement.

"(I did that) because (going into law enforcement) is hard on two things. It’s hard on your religious beliefs, and it’s hard on your family. OK, and I said, ‘Just don’t do it. Find something else to do so you can stay close to God, and you can stay close to your family,’” Hungrige said. “So, it all went along pretty well. Devin never showed any interest in law enforcement. He was interested in my gear, because I would come in with all of my stuff on. And so, it was after he was an adult that he came home and told me one day that, ‘Hey, I want to go into law enforcement.’”

Luckily, Hungrige said that his son was a good kid, but he is an even better adult.

“But yes, (Devin as a kid) was disobedient,” Hungrige said, as his son laughed in response.

“He was similar to other children, where he wanted his freedom. He wanted to do things, but I always cautioned him about the fact that the last name of ‘Hungrige,’ yeah, you don’t hear that,” Hungrige said. “So he wasn’t able to get out there and do a bunch, because I warned him. I said, ‘There are eyes everywhere.’”

Hungrige shared a donut-related memory where this dynamic is showcased.

“I remember driving along one day, and I happened to be at a stoplight. And I looked over and there was a little (donut shop), and there by the window I could see my son, Devin. It was during the lunch break from the high school, because he was in high school. And I got on my cell phone and I called him,” Hungrige said. “I go, ‘Hey boy, those donuts good?’ And he started looking around.”

Devin Hungrige did not see his dad and wondered where he was.

“I said, ‘Boy, I told you, I got eyes everywhere,’” Craig Hungrige said.

Today, Devin Hungrige is no longer a boy, and Craig Hungrige is proud of the man he has become.

“He is that high-integrity guy, the religious guy, the family-oriented guy. I love seeing him here,” Hungrige said. "(I spent time on the SWAT team, and you start to learn who you can trust to go through a door that is potentially dangerous on the other side). There are certain people that I would put my life in their hands, and they would put theirs in mine. And there’s not a door that I would not go through with my son.”

Jail Lieutenant Kristie Garza, with the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, also has family members who work in local law enforcement. Her family’s connection to working in law enforcement is extensive.

Garza’s dad worked with the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office and retired as a captain. Her older brother was a sergeant with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department who retired, and her husband is a captain and jail commander for the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. Her daughter is also a correctional officer at the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, and her son is currently employed with the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office and is going through the academy.

“I love the job,” Garza said. “You talk with the inmates here, and you get to know them because they’re here for a long time, and you’re watching them, and you’re listening to their stories and stuff. But they always want to get better, and they always want to stop doing drugs or something like that. And there are times when I’ve been outside, or going to Target or something like that, and I would see one of them. And they’d come up, ‘Hey, Ms. Garza , I’ve been clean, I’ve been doing this.’ Those are the good moments. You know, ‘Thank you for talking to me.’”

After long careers in law enforcement, Garza and her husband are retiring this year.

“I’m scared to retire. But, oh, I’m ready,” Garza said. “This is all I’ve ever known, and I love this place, but I had a grandson born, and I want to spend time. It’s been 28 years, and I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to (retirement).”


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