RIPON - One of the main attractions at Saturday morning’s annual police car show in Ripon’s Community Center and Veterans Park was the Los Angeles Police Department patrol car of TV fame – “One Adam 12.”
Actor Broderick Crawford’s black and white Highway Patrol car that TV also made famous in the ‘60s was also on display and was part of the parade.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s first black patrol car from 1936 was a restored model complete with lights, sirens along with a shotgun and rifle mounted in the trunk. Prior to the mid-30s deputies had to drive their own vehicles on patrol.
Sheriff Steve Moore made a point to talk to individuals who gathered around the vehicle who were interested in knowing more about the vintage patrol car showing his pride in the early unit.
About half of the 100 plus vehicles, including ambulances, motorcycles and fire rigs, pulled into Ripon’s Community Center Friday night. They all planned on eating together at the Sonic Drive-In restaurant on Colony Road at 6 p.m. – all driving into that parking lot together in their vehicles.
A Law Enforcement Recruiting Fair was part of the event where distant agencies set up booths hoping to locate candidates that could be interested in their departments.
Officer Chuck Allen from the Nevada Highway Patrol had probably come the farthest. Dressed in full uniform he had brought two NHP vehicles that he parked on the grass next to his booth.
Sheriff’s Departments from the Bay Area were also on hand looking for experienced officers who would transfer as well as new recruits interested in law enforcement. CHP representatives from Stockton and Sacramento were also available to talk with prospective officers.
The Ripon Police Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) worked out of their department’s command center bus providing barbecued hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks.
At 1 p.m. the emergency vehicles started their engines and headed for a parade staging location of South Stockton Avenue and Doak Boulevard the southern perimeter of the community. Senior police volunteers manned their units and directed traffic at the intersections the parade was passing through in the city.
With red and blue lights flashing and sirens setting the mood they paraded west on Doak to Roberts Avenue and head north until they reached Ripon’s main east and west thoroughfare through town.
They continued on Main Street eastbound by Bethany Home where a number of the residents had been rolled out to the front for the facility in wheelchairs to watch the parade. They motored eastbound to Stockton Avenue – the central downtown intersection – when they turned south again back toward their staging point.
Vendors of police memorabilia from pictures to shoulder patches were set up in the two Community Center buildings selling their wares. Even members of Manteca Police Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police (SHARP) were set up near one of their patrol vehicles explaining their program and opening their arms to potential volunteers.
For anyone that missed the event – next year is already on the calendar for a repeat performance by the Menlo Park and Ripon police departments.