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Reduces time lost to travel
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San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar cuts the ribbon to her new South County office at the Manteca Civic Center. Looking on are, from left, Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin, Board of Supervisors Chairman Moses Zapien, Manteca Vice Mayor Richard Silverman and Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

There is once again a satellite office of the San Joaquin County District Attorney open in Manteca serving all of the South County including Tracy, Ripon, Lathrop and Escalon.
District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar Thursday morning welcomed some 50 representatives of the law enforcement community  into the front door of the new complex located at the Manteca Civic Center after a ribbon cutting ceremony in the walkway outside the front door.
The modular office is housing DA staff that works with law enforcement and crime victims in the five South County cities as well as the CHP in the prosecution of cases. The move is designed to put prosecutors closer to officers to reduce costs and travel time which in turn increases officer time for patrols and other duties.
She said it had been some six years since the former office on Center Street was closed due to the economic slowdown. It was also when the Tracy courthouse was closed.  Verber said she hopes to see the Tracy facility reopened sometime in the near future.
The Manteca satellite has a staff of 10 which includes four deputy district attorneys who will be working cases in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Center Street and in some felony cases traveling to the Stockton Courthouse. The staff also includes a victim witness advocate and five legal techs. 
Deputy District Attorney Brian Short is the lead attorney in the new Manteca office.
The notables in attendance included San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore, County Supervisors board chairman Moses Zapien, Manteca Vice Mayor Richard Silverman and police chiefs from Manteca, Ripon and Escalon along with Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin.  The California Highway Patrol from the Tracy office was also represented.
The DA made a point of saying that if it hadn’t been for Manteca’s police chief and its city council, the new office wouldn’t be a reality today to serve the South County. 
“The board of supervisors said, ‘Let’s get it done,’” she said.  “Sheriff Moore was also a big advocate to get the Manteca office back in operation.”
She cited SHARPS’ volunteer Jim Terry for his continuing effort to transport the legal documents from the Manteca Police Department to her Stockton office on a bi-weekly basis.  He was given a certificate of appreciation for his efforts.
She noted that a victims’ advocate will be coming down to Manteca two days a week to assist those who have been subjected to crimes in and around the communities.  Salazar said the victims’ advocate will soon be in the Manteca office some four to five days each week.
Board of Supervisors Board Chairman Moses Zapien said he once served as a deputy DA in the district attorney’s office and welcomed the creation of the new satellite.  Zapien was appointed to the board earlier this month by Governor Jerry Brown to fill a vacant seat.