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New police chief roots in Lathrop run deep
New Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann, center, poses with Lathrop Manteca Fire District Chief Gene Neely, left, and San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow pose after the promotion ceremony last week at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office. Biedermann and Withrow both spent roughly half of their careers serving Lathrop, and Biedermann and Neely rose through their respective ranks together as friends.

Ryan Biedermann’s first post after being eligible to serve as a solo deputy for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office was in Lathrop. 

And now he’s in charge of Lathrop Police Services. 

Last week Bidermann, who has been serving in the acting role as chief for the last year, was formally promoted to oversee the department where he spent more than half of his career working as a patrol deputy, gang officer, detective, community impact team member and K9 officer before transferring back to the sheriff’s office where he advanced through the ranks.

And the homecoming couldn’t be more welcome. 

“I was engrained in the community – I used to coach varsity soccer for the girls and the guys at the high school,” Biedermann said. “And everybody is still here – I didn’t have to rebuild those relationships because I maintained while I was working back at the main office which made everything seamless. 

“It’s kind of funny – in my speech I talked about how while I was working in Lathrop, I never would have thought that I would be in charge of that division and how I never saw that as an end goal. But as you get older and progress through the department you see things differently and how valuable it is to be a part of such a small, close-knit community that runs like a well-oiled machine.”

And Biedermann’s roots in Lathrop run deep. 

In addition to having relationships with members of the community, he’s also very close with other first responders – befriending current Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely back when he was just a firefighter and watching as both rose through the ranks of their respective fields. 

There is still a sushi roll on the menu at Mikasa in Lathrop named after Biedermann’s K9 partner, and he has come to have relationships with some of the “bad guys” that he got to know in his more than 10 years of service to the community – some of whom he even works out with at the gym in Manteca. 

Having those relationships, he said, are a testament to the community oriented policing model that the sheriff’s office has long deployed in Lathrop – where investing time into the community and getting to build relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding can have lasting, generational impacts. 

And considering that Biedermann has been around long enough to see the ebbs and flows of the relationship between the sheriff’s office and the city – where contract disputes often lead to discussions about partnerships elsewhere – he’s proud to be back at the helm as the city comes to terms with its own growth and ushers in a new era in a building that could be completed as early as next year that will serve the city for years to come. 

The fact that the Lathrop City Council just recently pondered partnering with Tracy and ending what would have been a nearly 30-year relationship isn’t lost on Biedermann, and with his new boss having direct ties to the community just like he did, he hopes to preserve those bonds for the foreseeable future. 

“The Sherriff and I are cut from the same cloth in that we both spent such a large part of our careers here – we know the community and the people in it and how beneficial such a long partnership can be,” Biedermann said. “When you look at where we’re going, we’re going to have one of the most of state-of-the-art police departments in Northern California when it’s completed – if not an even wider area – and that’s going to be a source of pride for Lathrop.

“One of my goals is maintaining that relationship between the sheriff’s office and the city because it’s something that is beneficial to everybody – having those connections are important, and that’s what I want to grow here.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.