New undersheriff at helm
Porterville native Mike Boudreaux brings 27 years of experience
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department has a new undersheriff.
Capt. Michael Boudreaux, a Porterville native and 27-year veteran of the department, was formally appointed today during a pinning ceremony at the sheriff’s headquarters in Visalia.
Boudreaux replaces former Undersheriff Dahl Cleek, who retired Dec. 28 after 37 years of service.
“I have 100 percent confidence in Mike being able to help me run the department,” Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman said Tuesday. “Mike’s just a very capable person; he’s done every job within the organization and excelled in every position I’ve asked him to do.”
As undersheriff, Boudreaux reports directly to Wittman on the department’s day-to-day operations and is responsible for supervising the work of management and mid-management level officers and deputies. Boudreaux will also assist Wittman in the development of the departmental budget and will take the lead in the most complex and sensitive criminal investigations. Additionally, Boudreaux is charged with working with other federal, state, county and city law enforcement agencies and maintaining a cooperative working relationship.
The son of a retired sheriff’s detective, 45-year-old Boudreaux grew up in California Hot Springs and graduated from Porterville High School in 1985. He began his career with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department as a sheriff’s cadet at age 19. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving in various capacities.
In 1987, he was promoted to deputy trainee and was sponsored through the Tulare-Kings County Police Academy. Upon graduation, he was promoted to deputy, and between 1991 and 1995, he transferred to the department’s patrol division and became a field training officer. In 1995, he was assigned as a narcotics detective with the Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel team in investigations.
Boudreaux was promoted to sergeant in 1999, and as such held assignments in the sheriff’s maximum security detention facilities, internal affairs and patrol operations. Six years later, he was promoted to lieutenant and returned to the detentions division. Between 2006 and 2008, he was assigned to the Street Crimes Bureau. He was also commander of the Gang Unit and Narcotics Bureau, which includes the Narcotics Task Force, SWAT and STEP teams.
In November of 2009, Boudreaux was promoted to captain where he managed the investigations division for the last three years.
Boudreaux has attended tactical commander, as well as basic and advanced SWAT schools. He has also attended executive leadership school and has a certificate in administration of justice.
He earned an associates of science degree in administration of justice, a bachelors of science degree in criminology and management, and a master’s degree with course of study in administration of justice. In 2009 and 2010, Boudreaux was an adjunct professor at Fresno Pacific University teaching criminal justice. He is a graduate of West Point Leadership Academy, provided by the Los Angeles Police Department, and is a graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Throughout his career, Boudreaux implemented a variety of projects and details. In 1992, he was part of a team that was dispatched to assist during the Los Angeles riots. In 2008, he drew national attention with Operation LOCCUST — Locating Organized Cannabis Cultivators Using Saturation Tactics — a large-scale, multi-agency marijuana eradication detail that led to the seizure of about $1.4 billion in marijuana plants and 36 arrests. The operation brought the nation’s drug czar to Tulare County and was adopted as a model for other agencies to learn from. As a result of the success of the operation, Boudreaux was invited to meet with President George W. Bush.
Boudreaux is an active member of Downtown Visalia Rotary and sits on the Anti-crime and Violence Committee. He received the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2011 from the Visalia Rotary Club and is an ambassador with the Pro-Youth Heart after school program. He volunteers with the Kings/Tulare County Continuum of Care on Homelessness, as well as Soled Out for Kids, a program that provides a new pair of shoes for children in need during Christmas.
Though the ceremonial appointment occurred today, Boudreaux’s first day on the job was Monday.
On Tuesday, Boudreaux said the past two days have been a whirlwind.
“I’m receiving a tremendous amount of support from the community and from fellow law enforcement, which is greatly appreciated,” he said. “I want to get to everyone and express my gratitude for their support but in addition to that, we still need to run the department.”
He said he never imagined himself as the department’s No. 2 man.
“You always have aspirations of moving to the next level, and the sheriff has always been very gracious that people receive education and training to achieve each level,” he said.
“Over the years, I found myself wanting to be in that position to carry on the history the department has.”
He is supported in his new assignment by his wife, Angela, his daughter, Natalie Elizabeth, 5, and sons, Nathan Stephen, 3, and Zachary Michael, 18.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.