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Two police reserve officers added to Ripon force during Monday ceremony
Ripon Police First Sergeant Steve Merchant joined his two new police reserve officers Leroy Sanchez and Gursharan Kang and their ladies following 10 a.m. ceremonies Monday morning. At left is Melissa Sanchez and at right is Kangs girlfriend, Amanda Rhodes. Family members are seen gathered in the background. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON - Two police reserve positions were filled on Monday in ceremonies at Ripon Police Department with badges presented by Chief Ed Ormonde before an audience of some 20 family members.

Leroy Sanchez of Riverbank and Gursharan Kang of Livingston both voiced their pleasure in joining the Ripon force. They are graduates of the Peace Officers Standards in Training (POST) academy.

Sanchez is employed as a night custodian with the Ripon Unified School District and serves as an afternoon route backup school bus driver. He also works for the Riverbank school district as a daytime custodian and bus driver. Sanchez is currently taking classes at MJC with a major in Social and Behavioral Science.

He has a cousin who is currently a CHP officer in Hayward. Sanchez said as a youth he always looked up to law enforcement and the role officers played in the community revolving around their established ethics.

Sanchez and his wife Melissa have a year-and-a-half-old daughter they named Karis.

Kang has been on the Livingston Police Department as a reserve officer for the past year and is employed as a night audit clerk at a hotel south of Modesto.

The former Livingston officer said his past year was a great experience that got him thinking seriously about a career in law enforcement. “I realized what I want to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Kang added that he had always hoped he could in some way make the community a better place for his family and for its residents. Both officers will begin their reserve duties in Ripon riding with a field training officer on patrol in the community.