Gorham leaves MLPD after 15 years

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department lost longtime officer Jesse Gorham this week, and the town won’t be quite the same.

Gorham, who received his 15-year service award at the last Town Council Meeting, is retiring to Clendenin, W. Va., with his wife, Valerie, and three children, leaving Mammoth with a big gap on the force.

Really big.

“With his departure, and Marty Thompson’s departure earlier, that now makes me the largest member of the Police Department,” quipped Chief Dan Watson. “I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”

Gorham began his law enforcement in San Diego in 1989, and was gracious in accepting the service award.

“I want to thank the people of Mammoth Lakes for the opportunity to work here and to have a career and to raise my family away from the perils of the city, which is what I was trying to escape for my children,” he said.

“I put a serial rapist in prison 25 years to life, and I was instrumental in saving a woman who called 911. All we had was a first name and a hang-up, and we actually saved her life.

“We interrupted her murder on Lupin St. Her boyfriend was in the process of strangling her to death.

“Those things will always be with me. I know I’ve touched peoples’ lives, so I thank you for the opportunity, and it’s time to move on to a new chapter.”