A special thank you in the form of a First Responders’ Appreciation Day is being planned by a citizens group for Saturday, April 1, in downtown Ripon.
The small committee has been meeting on Saturday mornings, first at the Ripon Café in the Schemper’s Hardware Shopping Center until last week when they met at the police department’s squad room to outline the possible scenario of the Saturday morning event honoring the first responders.
The tentative plan is to involve both the police and fire departments in the community and have a small parade that would be routed from the Ripon Consolidated Fire Department headquarters on Stockton Avenue to Main Street and westward to Wilma Avenue. It will end at the police department building with static displays of police equipment and possible tours of the department.
Ripon has 24 police units that officers take home when they are off duty and park in front of their homes as a deterrent to home burglaries from thieves coming into town and not expecting to see so many police units on the streets. That has helped keep the number of break-ins to a minimum in the community rated as the 10th safest city in the state.
The Ripon Police VIPS volunteers and the fire department’s volunteers are being included in the city’s first responder cadre and will be expected to walk the mile in unity through the city’s historic downtown area. The Manteca Police SHARP volunteers have already voiced their willingness to possibly support the parade with traffic control.
Hundreds of police officers from departments in Turlock to San Francisco live in the Ripon community and even a greater number when firefighters and ambulance personnel and paramedics are counted in the mix. While the officers from other departments are not considered to be included in Ripon’s “first responders,” it is hoped they will gather and add to the esprit de corps of the respected “thin blue line.”
The event was preceded last year by a group of children that gathered to honor Ripon police by walking from Park View Elementary School on the north side of the community down to the police headquarters. They wore blue shirts lauding their police friends and carried blue balloons being escorted by a police car and a police motorcycle.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.