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Ripon Police reserve officer, school district worker earns full-time status
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A new full-time Ripon police officer Leroy Sanchez was joined by family members that watched the ceremonies in police headquarters on Wilma Avenue as his wife pinned his new badge on his shirt. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON — Leroy Sanchez is the second police officer to join the Ripon Police Department ranks in recent months filling a void created by a transfer to other departments by regular officers on the force.

Sanchez has been on patrol as a reserve officer for the last four months. He will be under the tutelage of Field Training Officer Stephen Meece.  Meece is being promoted to the temporary position of sergeant after serving as the city’s lone motorcycle traffic officer for the past several years.

The newly appointed Ripon patrolman has worked in maintenance roles for the Ripon Unified School District and the Riverbank School District while also serving as a reserve officer.   He was selected from a field of applicants that were given written and oral examinations.

Ripon has some 26 officers on duty with those living in Ripon being assigned their own patrol cars that they park in front of their homes ultimately serving as a high profile deterrent to burglaries and auto thefts, police theorize.

The department also has a multi-million dollar series of surveillance cameras throughout the city used in an attempt to keep crime at a minimum in the city.  It was the first such video coverage west of the Mississippi that has more than 70 cameras in the major intersections, showing the freeway as well as the community’s elementary and high school campuses.  The dispatch center at the police department has small screens mounted on the wall with a centralized larger screen.  The police cars are also outfitted with dash mounted video cameras that can be viewed by dispatchers in the office or by other officers in their patrol units.

There are barrel shaped license plate cameras mounted near the southbound Highway 99 exit that alerts dispatchers of any stolen cars entering the city – another safety element in the city.

The officers are urged to use their patrol cars when they are off duty and go to the bank and while doing other shopping and chores within the city to keep the police presence in the forefront and hopefully discourage criminals by their presence.

Ripon has had a number of bank robberies over the past few years, however the department is proud of its record of having arrested all of the responsibles – some sooner than later.