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Nine new officers take part in pinning ceremonies
Manteca Police Chief Jodie Estarziau presents retiring Captain Tony Souza with a glass award plaque for his 27 years of service. She said no one could outrun Souza who had competed successfully in past Iron Man competitions. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Manteca Police is now up to full staffing with a 69th officer targeted to be brought on board at the start of 2019.

 It was a packed house Thursday afternoon at the Manteca Transit Center for the badging and swearing in ceremonies for nine new police officers, one animal control officer and a lead clerk in the Records Division and a public safety dispatcher

Police Chief Jodie Estarziau served as master of ceremonies.

The City Council in the current budget directed staff to create and fill four new police officer positions — the most new officer positions ever created in a single year in the city’s 100-year history. When the final officer is on the job in January, the city will have an all-time record 69 officers.

The newly sworn police officers include Aldo Anguiano, Taylor Azarvand, Ryan Castro, Jesus Lopez, Tular Eric Warner, Brandon Yciano and Lauren Young.  Two non-sworn positions were filled with Josephine Valdez, public safety dispatcher and Steffany Zanini, animal services officer.  

Bobbi Donaldson was promoted to lead police Records clerk and traffic officer Mitchell Ellis was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  Sgt. Michael Aguilar was promoted to the rank of Captain.  

Those honored for their retirement include Police Captain Anthony Souza and Lead Records Clerk Nina O’Brien. Both served the city for 27 years.

Brief backgrounds on the new officers began with Aldo Anguiano who was introduced by the chief as a recent Delta College Police Academy graduate.  Aldo worked for 12 years as a Costco employee starting in 2006.  He won the Lifetime Fitness “600” Club Award from the Delta College Peace Officers Academy.

Aldo’s wife Carina did the honors of pinning on her husband’s badge. 

Taylor Azarvand spent two years at the San Joaquin Delta College and the San Joaquin Delta College Academy and enjoys hunting and fishing in his off hours.  He has been credited with volunteering for the St. Mary’s Dining Hall to help feed the homeless.  Pinning his badge on his chest was his mother Heather Azarvand.  

Ryan Castro comes from being a deputy at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and holds a Fire Science Degree from 2014.  He has served as a SWAT operator, range instructor and chemical agent and less lethal munition instructor.  He, too, enjoys hunting and fishing and his wife Maryann Castro pinned his badge onto his chest. 

Jesus Lopez received his Associate in Arts Degree in Human and Behavioral Science from Modesto Junior College and is a graduate of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Academy.  He said he was an Explorer in his teens for the City of Ceres Police Department for four years until he aged out.  In his off hours he said he likes to play soccer and work out and being active in other outdoor activities.  

Pinning his badge was his father Humberto Lopez.

Tular Eric Warner graduated from the Ray Simon Regional Training Center in Modesto and served as an officer with the Gustine Police Department from 2004 until 2018.  Past awards include being named Officer of the Year and the MADD award for fighting DUI activities. In his spare time, he likes to go camping and fishing with his family as well as snowboarding.  He has been an assistant 4-H Leader and a prior assistant wrestling coach at Gustine High School.

Pinning on his badge was his wife Laurie.

Brandon Yciano attended Delta College and graduated in 2013 with an AA degree in Accounting and Finance.  He also attended the San Joaquin Delta College Police Academy and graduated in the class of 36-15. Brandon worked as a deputy for the San Joaquin County Sheriffs Office for nearly four years and prior to that was employed with the San Joaquin County Probation Department.  His hobbies include training at Ronin Jiu-Jitsu and teaching defensive tactics to local Explorers. 

The honor of pinning on his badge went to his mother Gloria Melendez. 

Lauren Denise Young is a Turlock High graduate and also went through the San Joaquin POST Delta Police Academy.  She enjoys training at a gym, hiking, horseback riding, playing and coaching volleyball and just being outdoors.  She added she enjoys playing with her two lively sons who are six and three.  

Pinning on her badge was a nephew, Troy Stumpf.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email