By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Deputies receive old school bus to help with deputy training
sheriff bus
Photo courtesy of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Officers from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team train with a new arrival – a school bus that was donated so that officers could train on it in real-life conditions. The bus was donated by Sims Metal Management, which operates a facility in Stockton, and was towed to the sheriff’s office in French Camp by Sam Berri Towing.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office won’t have to borrow a school bus to do true-to-life training scenarios anymore.

They now have their own to use for a variety of training missions intended to build skills for a variety of teams that may be called on if a situation involving a bus were ever to arise.

According to the agency, Sims Metal Management reached out after acquiring a school bus at an auction that it intended to scrap – the bus doesn’t run, and likely couldn’t be put back into service transporting children to and from school.

But rather than take it apart for the metals that it contains, Jeff Thornley, a consultant for Sims, thought it would be better suited for law enforcement training activities – in-line with the company’s longstanding support for area law enforcement.

When Sam Berri Towing heard about the donation, they offered to use a heavy-haul tow truck to deliver the bus to the sheriff’s office so that the training could begin.

“We are grateful to Sims and Sam Berri for their support, and for their generous donations,” the agency said in a release announcing the new arrival. “This opportunity will be used to improve the skillsets of our staff, and as a result, benefit the citizens of San Joaquin County.”

Officers from the sheriff’s office K9 division, SWAT Team, and the Unmanned Aerial Surveillance – or “drone” – Team are all slated to use the bus in a variety of training scenarios, and its presence will allow for additional scenarios that don’t involve scheduling a short-term loan from an area school district.

In the wake of horrific school shootings across America in recent years, residents have been vocal about pressing for more training for officers in scenarios related to active shooters involving schoolchildren. All law enforcement agencies in San Joaquin County use unified protocols designed by the county to allow for officers from outside agencies to respond without difficulty.

To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209249..3544.