A Maxwell native started work with the city of Nevada this month as the new full-time Community Service Officer.
Nancy Pritchard, 54, who graduated in 1982 from Maxwell High School — back when they were “the Rockets,” she said — was looking for a job she could enjoy, and with her background in EMS and love of animals, the CSO position in Nevada certainly fit the bill.
“I look forward to it actually,” she said of the animal control aspect of the job, which will be her primary responsibility. She grew up in the city limits of Maxwell, where she always had dogs, and today she lives outside of the city limits on an acreage where she has dogs, cats, goats, sheep and horses. Being around animals is second nature to her.
All of the skills Pritchard has fit nicely with the work she’ll do as a member of Nevada’s Public Safety Department. She’s a self-taught computer programmer, which means the office/computer work she’ll help with at the Nevada Police Department doesn’t bother her at all. “I’ve taken over the animal licensing program so far,” she said.
Pritchard is also the chief and service director for Maxwell’s EMS agency. She will continue that community volunteer role in her hometown. However, with that expertise and as a member of the Nevada Police Department, she will now be called out for EMS calls when needed during weekdays in Nevada.
Most recently, Pritchard had worked for a number of years for Grassroots Action, an online activist company with several offices in the United States, including one in Maxwell. The office was located downtown next to Logsden’s Grocery. “I was their web developer,” she said, and noted that all the employees were her relatives, except for one. “We did a lot of fundraising for nonprofits. We did petitions and delivered petitions.”
The work of Grassroots Action, which closed earlier this year, was very political, Pritchard said. “It was based on active news topics. I started when the war started in 2003, and we did a lot of ‘Support Our Troops’ signs. There are stickers right now that you see a lot that say, ‘I support the Thin Blue Line.’ That came from us,” she said.
When that job ended recently, Pritchard wanted to try something new. When she saw that Nevada was hiring for a community service officer, “I thought this was perfect for me. I’m an animal lover.”
So far, she’s been on three animal calls with police officers who are helping with her training. Those animal calls included a trapped possum that needed to be released in the rural area, a feral cat and a release of a dog to its owner.
“Everybody has been super friendly and helpful. They have a great group here,” she said of the Nevada Public Safety Department.
Pritchard’s family include her spouse, Dee Gamble; and her two children, Alex Golly of Maxwell, who works for the county; and Ashley Golly-Zrostlik, who lives in Mason City and works as a mental health counselor. She has no grandchildren yet but does have “grandpuppies,” which is kind of perfect for someone now in charge of Nevada’s animal control.
Pritchard is looking forward to getting out and doing her job in Nevada. “I’m familiar with Nevada (having lived near it her whole life),” she said, “but I have a little studying to do to get all the streets down.”