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Lathrop Police start date to hit streets now set for June 29
lathrop police badge
This is the badge for the new Lathrop Police Department debuting on July 1.

It doesn’t look like the Lathrop Police Department is going to be operational when the contract with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office expires at the end of the month.

The new agency is going to be operational before then.

The City of Lathrop has formally sent San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow a letter informing him that the new Lathrop Police Department plans to take over law enforcement duties in the city on Wednesday, June 29, at noon – beating the initial goal by more than a day.

At that point all 911 calls placed in Lathrop will be routed to the San Joaquin County Dispatch Center – which will still handle fire calls – and any police matter will be rerouted to the Ripon Police Dispatch Center which will be in communication with officers on the street.

The same system is place for the City of Escalon who contracts with Ripon for police dispatch services, but Lathrop’s size means that the dispatch center will be more than doubling the people that they currently serve even between both Ripon and Escalon.

The Ripon Police Department has been recruiting and training dispatchers in order to meet the rising demand that the new contract will produce.

In addition to the local control that the new agency will afford the City of Lathrop – since its incorporation more than three decades ago the city has always contracted with the sheriff’s office to provide law enforcement services to residents – the Lathrop Police Department will also include a return to a brick-and-mortar location in the city limits. For more than two years all officers assigned to Lathrop has been based of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office in French Camp after the city failed to reach an agreement with the previous landlord of the police station on 7th Street.

The decision had been made to temporarily relocate operations to French Camp while the new police station in River Islands – which was fronted by developers and paid back by the city far ahead of schedule – was constructed, but the decision to move forward with a standalone agency was made just before the building was completed which further delayed a permanent law enforcement presence within the city limits.

The Sheriff’s Office has maintained a small office room in Lathrop City Hall for report writing and other office-related tasks, but the bulk of the police business was conducted at the complex in French Camp.

For additional information about the Lathrop Police Department transition visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.