Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian FAREWELL Watsonville Police Capt. Donny Thul presents a retirement badge to outgoing officer Lee Katich Tuesday evening.

After working behind the badge of Watsonville Police for nearly three decades, officer Lee Katich waved goodbye Tuesday.

“It’s been quite a good ride,” Katich said during a festive farewell party Tuesday evening that included Katich’s wife and two children and a roomful of officers at the department’s briefing room. “I have no regrets; Watsonville was my first choice and I wanted to get in on the action. “Watsonville delivered. It was fun but it’s time to move on.”

WPD Sgt. Mike Ridgway said that he felt safe when Katich was working.

“We always worked well together, and I always looked forward to having you on my shift,” Ridgway said.

Katich, a native of Ensenada, Mexico, said he was hired in 1995 as a patrol officer. He then moved into the traffic division where he rode a motorcycle for 15 years, and then back on to patrol in 2014. 

Hired by Chief Terry Medina, he also worked under  chiefs Manny Solano, David Honda, and current chief Jorge Zamora.

As a tradition, a 9-1-1 dispatcher then came over the police radio for Katich’s last call.

“Lee, thank you for your dedicated years of service at the Watsonville Police Department. On behalf of your family here at Netcom, we wish you a very healthy and happy retirement. We will miss you. Giddyup! Over and out.”

The print version of this story incorrectly spelled Katich’s name. The Pajaronian apologizes for the error.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/


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