Shawn Cavin — who has served and protected the Manteca community for the past 21 years — is retiring as a Manteca Police officer.
His most rcenet assignment has been as East Union High’s school resource officer.
He has served under five police chiefs: Richard Gregson, who hired him in 1964; Charlie Halford, Dave Bricker, Nick Obligacion and Jodie Estarziau.
He joined the Manteca Police Department after serving six years in the U.S. Army with the 11th Mountain Division out of Ft. Drum, New York. His army tenure saw him assigned to posts from Honduras to Germany, training infantrymen in tanks with tubular launched, optically tracked guided missile systems.
Cavin has served in the police gang unit, SWAT, patrol, narcotics, the mounted equestrian unit, and as a school resource officer. He has also ran the Junior Police Academy for younger students.
He has volunteered as a Bible Study teacher at Calvary Community Church. During an interview Thursday morning at Starbucks on Union and Lathrop Roads, his “Calvary Crew” — as he referred to his church members — came into the coffee shop and sat nearby. There was Samantha Toves, Suzanne Robinson and Dawn Thomas. They all shared glowing stories of Cavin.
He recalled initiating one high speed pursuit through Tracy and over the Altamont when his son-in-law was riding in his patrol car for the afternoon. Cavin said he lost radio contact with the Manteca dispatchers and asked his civilian partner to call dispatchers on his cell phone to keep in contact with the station. CHP had taken over the pursuit which is standard protocol and finally arrested the Manteca suspect. That son-in-law is now an officer in the city of Seaside.
Another arrest that sticks out in his mind was when he arrested a fleeing suspect by deploying a taser out his passenger side window and dropping the man on the ground.
He said there is definitely a joy as a police officer being able to turn some of his contacts around especially those on drugs. One such case involved a young mother who he arrested and ended up being separated from her kids.
“She turned her life around and is now making a difference in other people’s lives,” he said.
She thanked Cavin years later for saving her life from drugs.
Asked where he developed his compassion for others, he said it probably came from his mother who worked as a waitress and was definitely a people person.
Cavin and his wife Kerri, a critical care nurse, have two children Alisha, 28, and Marissa, 23, who together have given them three grandchildren, Shawn Michael, 3, Brooklyn Grace, 9 months and Lorraine Rae, 11 months old.
Cavin is a native of Sonora and graduated from Sonora High School.
The Cavins are planning on traveling to Peru where they hope to tour the Aztec City of Machu Picchu on a four day-long hike.
As for his career, Cavin said, “It’s the little things that have the most impact.”
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.