Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon grew up down the road in Westwood. He graduated from Westwood High School in 1990 where he was a three-sport athlete, and excelled in football, basketball and track. Sheriff Growdon was hired by then Lassen County Sheriff, Ron Jarrell, in 1994 and graduated from the police academy in 1995.
Sheriff Growdon began his 25-year law enforcement career as a Correctional Deputy and a year and a half later he was promoted to Patrol Deputy, at which time he became a Resident Deputy for Big Valley and joined the SWAT team. In 1998, he was named Officer of the Year by the American Legion Auxiliary Post Thomas Tucker #204.
In 1999, he was promoted to Sergeant and during that time he served as the SWAT Team Leader, Drug Task Force Commander, as well as serving in the jail and on patrol. During this time, he also graduated from Lassen College with an A.S. degree in Criminal Justice.
In 2005 former California Attorney General Bill Lockyear honored Dean with the Peace Officer Certificate of Valor which is the highest award a peace officer can receive from the Attorney General. The award recognizes heroic acts that extend beyond the normal call of duty and involve actual risk of life, or meritorious service in support of law enforcement or crime prevention. Sgt. Growdon received this award for his actions surrounding a domestic violence incident involving firearms in 2004.
Sheriff Growdon was promoted to Lieutenant in 2005 and returned to Corrections as a Jail Manager as well as filling the assignment of SWAT Commander. In 2007, he was promoted to Assistant Sheriff and was assigned as Patrol Division Commander. He immediately began pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management and graduated in 2009 from Union Institute and University. Sheriff Growdon was elected to the Office of Sheriff-Coroner of Lassen County in 2010 and began his first term in January 2011. He was recently sworn in for his third term.
In 2012, he was appointed to the California Corrections Standards Authority by Governor Brown and confirmed by the California State Senate. In 2013, he was appointed to the California Board of State and Community Corrections by Governor Brown and Confirmed by the California State Senate. He was reappointed in 2015 and 2018.
He has been a member of the California State Sheriff's Association since 2011, a member of their Board of Directors since 2012, and an officer with the association since 2015.
Beyond the badge, Sheriff Growdon served as the Rotary Club of Susanville President in 2016 and earned his Master's in Justice Management from the University of Nevada Reno in 2017. His is currently a part-time Administration of Justice instructor for Lassen College, teaching criminal law. He has coached youth basketball at all levels throughout the area for many years and is currently the JV Boys Basketball coach at Lassen High School.
Sheriff Growdon has been married to the former Carol Lommori of Upper Lake for 21 years. Carol is the NRA/Gunsmithing and POST Coordinator for Lassen College and they have two sons, Neil and Logan, who attend Lassen High. Neil, a junior, is playing his second year of varsity basketball, and Logan plays for the freshmen basketball team.