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Style Magazine

Leaders of the Pack

It takes a special person to jump into action and help others amid emergencies. Luckily, our region is brimming with brave frontline leaders who ensure our safety day in and day out. Keep reading for a window into the world behind the badges of these courageous heroes. We salute you!

Wayne Woo

Sheriff, Placer County Sheriff’s Office

Wayne Woo Sheriff, Placer County Sheriff’s Office


Wayne Woo came to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office in 1994 and says, “being able to help people in a meaningful way [is what initially] attracted me to the rewarding profession.” He worked his way up the ranks until officially earning his sheriff badge in January. “Being able to represent the citizens of Placer County on behalf of public safety is truly an honor.” 

Top safety tip?
We’re currently facing an unprecedented Fentanyl epidemic; experimentation for the first time can lead to deadly consequences.

Fun fact about you? 
My father was an immigrant, and I was raised in Orangevale. Our family business was the Capri Market.

What’s your hidden talent?
I can play very mediocre golf! 

Favorite small business?
Capitol Cellars. The owners are great people who often support the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. 

Ken Cusano

Chief, Folsom Fire Department

Ken Cusano, Chief, Folsom Fire Department


Ken Cusano has been leading the Folsom Fire Department since October 2020. He especially enjoys the unique opportunities and unpredictable nature of the profession, and “being there for the public when they have an emergency or require assistance.”

Top safety tip?
Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside of sleeping areas. Plan escape routes in advance and know at least two exits from a room. Practice and ensure all family members know how to get out.

Fun fact about you?
I have two French bulldogs named Louie and George. 

What’s your hidden talent?
I enjoy doing mechanical work on vehicles and rebuilt a custom 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. I also love playing golf.

Rick Bartee

Chief, City of Roseville Fire Department

Rick Bartee, Chief, City of Roseville Fire Department


Rick Bartee has been in fire service for over 41 years and appreciates the many opportunities to work as part of a team while serving the public and making a difference in people’s lives. “As the fire chief, I have the [privilege of helping] women and men reach their goals—both professionally and personally—while they protect and serve.”

Top safety tip?
Smoke alarms are an essential part of a home fire escape plan and should be connected, so that when one sounds, they all sound.

Fun fact about you?
I’ve been a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue Task System since 1992 and over the years have been deployed to disasters across the country: 9/11; the Champlain Towers collapse in Florida; and hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Ian.

Favorite local restaurant?
Kitchen 747.

Jeff Leikauf

Sheriff, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office

Jeff Leikauf, Sheriff, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office


Jeff Leikauf was recently sworn in as the sheriff of El Dorado County and feels that protecting and serving our [community] is his calling. He realized his passion for helping others after participating in a ride-along and experiencing a rush of excitement. When asked about the most rewarding part of his job, Leikauf says: “Going above and beyond to create positive interactions with [people] and seeing the love and support [the community has] for us in return.”

Top safety tip? 
Keep your trees, bushes, and brush around your house trimmed. Maximize lighting around your property at night, make sure all your doors and windows are secure, and consider an alarm service. If you see something suspicious, report it.

What’s your hidden talent?
Baseball. I've played it since I was old enough to walk and still coach and teach the game.

Favorite small business?
Country Elegance. I love barbecuing and smoking meat, and they have a great selection of rubs, sauces, and pellet smokers. 

by Melissa Strand
Photos courtesy of each fire chief and sheriff.