James Mele was elected as Tuolumne County Sheriff in 2006. He comes from a family of law enforcement professionals. His father spent 35 years with the LAPD. Mele is says while he’s a sheriff in a small county he still often finds himself in meetings with the governor, US senators and representatives and other high-powered officials. Early on he struggled finding his “self” but took a proactive approach to fixing that. He also says his ego sometimes got in the way of success, as it does with many people. One of the challenging times during his time as sheriff has been managing law enforcement personnel during the Rim Fire; the biggest causes were radio limitations and inter operability. He says as a leader you need to know that you can’t do it all yourself; you need partners and his during the Rim Fire his was Cal OES and its MIGU.