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STEPPING UP & VOLUNTEERING

Keeping SHARP while helping Manteca Police & community

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STEPPING UP & VOLUNTEERING

SHARP Lieutenant Bill Holder and longtime volunteer officer Pat Metzler are credited with thousands of gifted hours between them in serving the Manteca community.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED January 28, 2012 1:39 a.m.

Pat Metzler is a retired registered nurse.

Bill Holder’s day job before he retired was as an administrator/engineer with AT&T.

Both have put their hearts into serving the community through Manteca Police Department’s Seniors Helping Area Residents & Police volunteer program.

While continuing to do some private nursing after a career spanning some 42 years at San Joaquin County Hospital in the intensive care unit, Metzler has put in about 4,000 hours in the SHARP organization over the last 11 years. 

Metzler credits Lt. Holder with bringing an added level of organization and professionalism into the SHARP’s office over the last three years where he has created detailed records that show the accomplishments of the volunteer division. Holder also spent four years in the United States Air Force.

Metzler wanted to do what she could to help keep the community safe  and help to keep children to stay out of trouble.

Metzler, like others, has found SHARP membership has a social aspect for the 37 men and 35 women who currently are active volunteers.

She remembers standing by her patrol vehicle directing foot traffic near a murder scene by Baccilieri Park in the late fall in south central Manteca.  Metzler said it is somewhat ironic to note that the heavy graffiti activity on walls and buildings has dropped off measurably since that incident.

Holder recalled that he didn’t look at SHARP as a police-oriented unit when he volunteered, but he soon found differently once he actually became associated with the officers and the non-sworn office personnel.

Both agreed they tend to become complacent when doing vacation checks on residences throughout the community with the owners away on vacation.  Holder remembered one home where a repeat check on a house discovered a patio door freely swinging open that was locked on a  previous visit.  He said an adult daughter had visited and left the gate open signaling someone had been on the property.

They said that people often go away for three months at a time, adding that the Del Webb community takes care of their own.  SHARP officers are asked to make routine checks there as well.

With the graffiti being a big problem over the years, several of the SHARP cars have been outfitted with acetate-base solvents to erase the graffiti.  When that doesn’t work the other assigned officers have half a dozen different shades of paint to obliterate marked up walls.

Holder said he has been working on the weekends with Officer Mike Kelly and the county jail’s alternative work program where DUI and petty theft offenders work off their sentences cleaning alley ways throughout the city in lieu of jail time.   Over the past two years he has seen nine to 15 workers a week come to Manteca on Saturdays to clean up cast away items as well as collecting some of the abandoned shopping carts.

Metzler donates a minimum of four hours each week to SHARP.  Her current partner is Wanda Frazier – her first female partner.  All the others were men.

There are currently 72 volunteers wearing the SHARP badge and uniform.  The department is made up of one captain – Marty Maldonado – two lieutenants and six sergeants.

Metzler noted that assignments range from being charged with the speed enforcement radar trailers to involvement in searching for lost children and adults and taking legal papers on a daily basis to the district attorney’s office in Stockton.

Captain Maldonado said one of the most important assignments of her SHARP members is patrolling the school parking lots and the streets around the schools as students are coming and going.  Patrols are also focused on shopping center parking lots throughout Manteca.

At one time citations were issued by the senior volunteers for out-of-date vehicle licenses and parking in handicapped zones.  That practice was suspended after complaints that the seniors were not actually sworn officers.  In 2005 some 1,900 license tag violations had been cited and the total hours worked equated to more than 1,200 hours a month.

A team of a dozen volunteers has volunteered for the “Rapid Response Team” within the SHARP force where they will take out a patrol car at any time they are called upon – 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  This includes assignments for crowd and traffic control after nighttime shootings, and at the scenes of fires and major traffic collisions.

Holder made his first presentation last week to some 25 residents of the Almond Blossom Mobile Home Park.  The lieutenant made sure to welcome them all to consider joining the SHARP family of senior volunteers.

Another program where Metzler and Holder see a serious value is the R-U-OK effort that provides a daily automated telephone checks on housebound senior citizens having limited family interaction.  If the older residents don’t answer their telephone after a series of four scheduled calls, a sergeant from the SHARP team will make a visit to confirm they are safe and in good health.

SHARP officers also patrol the bike path from end to end and monitor stale yard sale signs as well as illegal parking in marked fire lanes and handicapped zones where they issue warnings to the violators.  Dogs running loose and dead animals in the roadways are radioed in to dispatchers.

There are seven members who handle only administrative duties in the office. They manage time sheets, trip tickets and member rosters.  They also perform data entry work covering reports on arrests, stolen vehicles, and citations.

The Manteca SHARP unit was the first of its kind to be established in Northern California in 1991 under the leadership of Jack Snyder and Willie Weatherford. Both are past mayors whiel Weatherford was police chief at the time.

SHARP members receive a minimum of 30 hours of training before going on active patrol with additional training in police radio and traffic control procedures.

Lt. Holder noted that just in the last year the senior volunteers donated just shy of 20,000 hours of service to the Manteca community and to its police department.  Covering the span of over 20 years since its inception, SHARP members have totaled in excess of 121,200 hours of volunteer time.  Eleven of its members have 10 or more years of service.

There was a special wedding ceremony that united two SHARP members in December.  Brenda Allen and Bud Werner told friends it was love at first sight when they met each other on their first assignment in a patrol car.  It was a well attended SHARP event at the United Lutheran Church on Northgate Drive.

Both Metzler and Holder have three children each – Metzler two sons and a daughter – Holder with two daughters and a son.

To qualify to be a SHARP officer, volunteers must be at least 40, in reasonably good health, have a clean police record, possess a valid California driver’s license and have a good driving record.  To check it out online, go to http://user.govoutreach.com/manteca/support.php



— Glenn Kahl
staff reporter

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