By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Captain Jack stepping down as SHARP leader
Jack Snyder is ending his tenure as captain of the volunteer Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police unit on Thursday. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Jack Snyder steps down Thursday as the head of what is arguably Manteca’ most effective volunteer corps: The Manteca Police Department’s Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police.

Snyder, who has nearly 15 years during two different stretches as the SHARP unit captain, will continue to volunteer along with his wife Barbara with the unit focusing on removing illegal signs such as those posted for garage sales and advertising within the city right-of-way.

Snyder had served as captain for 13 years before stepping down previously. He was asked by Police Chief Dave Bricker 21 months ago to resume the captain duties in a bid to rebuild the volunteer unit that is playing a key role in freeing up trained patrol officers to concentrate on basic police work as well as to do things that wouldn’t get done for the community due to staffing. When Snyder came back on board, Bricker said the SHARP ranks had dwindled to 30. As he prepares to step down on Thursday the number of volunteers has risen to 80 plus. The SHARP unit is still recruiting those over 50 who want to help serve their community.
“Jack has done an excellent job,” Bricker said. “He’s done what was asked of him.”

Snyder is proud of the fact that not only does Manteca have more volunteers helping police than many others nearby cities - Stockton as an example has 55 - but they are also used more effectively. Very few jurisdictions have volunteers trained to issue tickets for handicapped parking violations or to handle parking violations such as vehicles left on the streets too long. The SHARP volunteers are now getting involved with helping with code violations. Oftentimes property code violations involving property upkeep are a precursor to increases in crime and blight according to law enforcement officials.

“The best thing we do are things that free up highly trained and experienced officers to take care of more pressing needs,” Snyder said.
As an example, SHARP volunteers often are called to help direct traffic at accident scenes or major crime events even at night. A recent example was the early morning accident involving two motorcycles on Woodward Avenue that involved a five-hour road closure. They also assist at other major crimes such as controlling traffic during the incident in September when police had two bank robbery suspects holed up in a duplex in the downtown area.

SHARP volunteers do a wide variety of things from serving as a courier service to deliver documents to the courts, helping file records, neighborhood and shopping center patrols, vacation checks, traffic control at parades and civic events, graffiti abatement, illegal sign removal and more.

They are also credited with patrols around schools that have helped reduce near misses between children walking to and from campus and motorists.

The SHARP unit was launched in 1990 by then Police Chief Willie Weatherford. Snyder joined two years later with his first wife Rosie, who has since passed away. The couple was looking for something to do together. Weatherford convinced them to try the SHARP unit.