LATHROP — After more than 30 years in law enforcement and a pair at the helm of Lathrop Police Services, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department Captain Eric Holman is calling it quits.
His colleagues and co-workers gathered Monday night at Lathrop City Hall to thank him for his service and to wish him well in the next phase of his life. It is one that he says will include golf, fishing, relaxing and appreciating the things that he was worked more than three decades to earn.
But staying active in public life is something that’ll always be on his radar.
“I’m definitely looking forward to relaxing but also spending more time in my community – volunteering and doing what I can to get active,” said the Stockton resident who was recently named to the board of the San Joaquin County Homeless Shelter. “I have a vested interest in this community now, so I’ll probably volunteer here with the Lathrop Police VIPS.
“I care a lot about this city and the people here.”
Holman succeeded Delores Delgado who served at the post of Chief of Lathrop Police Services for five years before rotating back to the Sheriff’s department. His law enforcement credentials include graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, and overseeing the investigations division for two years prior to assuming the post in January of 2010.
Lieutenant Chris Pehl has been serving under Holman handling some of the oversight required for operation.
In the eyes of the man who asked Holman to take on the job, the soft-spoken fan of chess and traveling, hit the ball out of the park.
“He’s done exactly what it is that I asked him to do here which was work with the citizens, listen to the council and provide information and a level of community policing for this community,” San Joaquin County Sherriff Steve Moore said. “We’re not here to run the city but provide a level of service, and I think that Eric has done that and done that very well.
“The only way that I could be happier is if he wasn’t leaving, and believe me – I’ve tried to get him to stay.”
Some of those that worked closely with him on administrative tasks, like councilman Sonny Dhaliwal, couldn’t say enough about how Holman was willing to go out of his way to make sure that everything that needed to be done to keep Lathrop safe was handled.
Approachability, he said, was never an issue with Holman, and his love for his job and the people he worked to protect was evident.
“He was always accessible and you could tell that he cared a lot about Lathrop,” Dhaliwal said. “He was a good Chief and we’re going to miss him. I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”
And even with one foot out the door, Holman realizes that the job he was tasked with taking on – one that requires the ability to forge a relationship between the sheriff’s department and the city and each of its residents without overreaching – will never quite be completed.
As long as there’s an ongoing commitment between his successor and the council to maintain that relationship and keep the focus on community policing, he said, things like quality of life will continue to improve.
“I care a lot about this city and its residents, and this has turned out to be one of my greatest assignments – the most rewarding,” Holman said. “I enjoyed protecting the citizens, and out of the seven cities in San Joaquin County I truly believe that Lathrop is the safest – we have crime but we just don’t have the major crimes that you see in other places.
“I’m proud that we’ve been able to improve the partnership between the department and the citizens of Lathrop. We still have a long way to go but we’re taking it day-by-day.”