Visalia police chief battling breast cancer, will retire

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Visalia's police chief says she will retire next week. Colleen Mestas, 49, is battling breast cancer. (KFSN)

Visalia's police chief says she will retire next week. Colleen Mestas, 49, is battling breast cancer.

Mestas has been the police chief in Visalia since 2009. She was hired as assistant chief a year earlier. Before that, she worked at the Fresno County Sheriff's Department under Sheriff Margaret Mims.

"I've called, put a message in to Chief Mestas to offer my support," said Mims. "She was very supportive of me with my diagnosis. I know she's a strong woman, and with the support of her family, with her faith, and the support of her friends she's going to be just fine."

Mestas says her doctors caught the cancer in its early stages, and she is optimistic. Mestas added she had already been thinking about retiring at the end of the year. Her last day on the job will be Jan. 23.

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