Turlock’s City Council meeting saw the presentation of colors and salute to the flag by the Turlock Fire Department Honor Guard, an employee recognition of Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson, a Capital Project update, the approval of purchase of a new park sign as well as of front line police equipment.
The City Council meeting started off with a little more grandeur than usual Tuesday, when following the invocation members of the Turlock Fire Department Honor Guard performed a presentation of colors and salute to both the California State as well as United States flag. Veterans saluted and civilians held their hands to their hearts as the short ceremony took place.
Following the presentation, Mayor John Lazar tried once again to perform the proclamation of the retirement of City Employee Jeri Gilley, Finance Customer Service Supervisor, but again Gilley was not in an attendance. Lazar then welcomed Executive Director of the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training Post Bob Stresak who presented recognition for Jackson. Jackson was in a state of pleasant shock, as the award was a surprise for him. Ahead of time, the Council agenda listed the item simply as “employee recognition.”
“So Chief, with the issue of co-conspirators here, I’m here to present your Executive Certificate to you,” said Stresak. “On behalf of the Commission on Police Officer Standards it is my honor to do this and for those of you who are not aware of the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training it was established by the law in 1959, it was the first in the nation we do enjoy a national reputation, as the saying goes, so goes California , so goes the rest of the nation, so goes the California post, so goes the rest of the nation in training standards.”
The Executive Certificate is the second to last in a line of seven certificates the Commission on POST issues to peace officers. It is awarded to currently employed full-time peace officers of a POST-participating agency who possess an Advanced Certificate, have earned a minimum of 60 semester units at an accredited college, served for a period of two years as the department head and who have completed the Executive Development Course.
“We’ve been issuing these certificates for close to 50 years, and the reason I say that is, number one, I want you to understand the significance of this certificate,” said Stresak. “In 50 years, we’ve issued about 1,500 of these certificates, no more. So this is kind of a rare event. Point number two I want to make is that acquiring this certificate is a juggling act, so for the time, and your commitment to acquire this certificate you’ve been away from your shop, you’ve been juggling between family responsibilities and all those other things you do in order to take time to earn this certificate. The next point I want to make is the point about the few – fewer than one percent of applicants in California become police officers.”
And even fewer, Stresak pointed out, go on to reach Jackson’s position.
“I have an option of sharing this in front of your peers, other chiefs, but I think it’s more important to make this presentation in front of your community,” said Stresak. “In front of those that you are responsible to and are responsible for. So, that’s why I take the time to do this, because I think it’s important for you to be recognized here, by this body.”
Stresak went on to commend Jackson for his leadership and commitment to professionalism in the field.
“I want you to savor your accomplishment,” said Stresak. “It’s no small task, I want you to know that it reflects on your leadership, on leading by example to attend these kind of courses, and more importantly it reflects on your commitment to this community to raise the level of professionalism in law enforcement in your community, sir.”
Council members, attendees, and City staff applauded the Chief for his efforts as he approached the podium to receive his award.
“Thank you so much,” said Jackson. “It is quite an honor and very good, I had no idea so I’m kind of speechless up here right now… I’m honored and privileged and I want to thank you for allowing us to share this with the community of Turlock because it means so much to me and I really, this is something that I’ll cherish and I’m just proud to be here.”
Following this presentation Director of Development Services and City Engineer Mike Pitcock provided a Capital Projects and Building Activity update similar to the one he provided recently at the Turlock Planning Commission.
The Capital Projects update addressed:
For the Hawkeye Avenue, Colorado Avenue, and East Main Street resurfacing project, Colorado and East Main were resurfaced to be done in time before Dutcher Middle School and Turlock High School opened.
The Dianne Drive realignment project at Automall Drive is scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 18. Although road closures will be associated with this project, the City will be providing full access to and from the automalls.
Curb gutters and sidewalk installments were in the works last week at Monte Vista and Colorado avenues for the signal project. On Aug. 12 the contractor was pouring foundations when they hit two AT&T cables causing 1,400 customers to lose service. Asphalt work is scheduled for the week of Aug. 18. A delay was made previously when the contractor began focusing on a school project in another town, but with that project completed, they are returning their focus to Turlock.
The dog park at Swanson Centennial Park is nearing completion and the ribbon cutting will take place Sept. 20, the Del’s Lane and Golden State Boulevard signal was activated Wednesday, and the concrete median at Walnut in front of Turlock Junior High School is to planned be completed by the school year beginning, but is still under construction.
A 5-0 vote to pass the Consent Calendar meant approving an agreement in the amount of $14,600 with Taylor Backhoe Service, Inc., of Merced for the project “Fulkerth Bus Stop Improvements,” re-appropriating $3,552 in unspent funds for the purchase of the “Quaile Rand Norton Park” sign in honor of the late Turlock mayor, as well as the appropriation of funds in the amount of $42,527 for the purchase of front line police equipment through previously awarded and accepted JAG Grants.
A request for approval establishing a lien for payment for repair cost of certain maintenance curbs, gutters, sidewalks, curb cuts, and driveway approaches that are out of repair was also made by Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder. The request was approved, allowing an assessment of the property. The cost of the lien was less than previously stated in the agenda, due to a clerical error, bringing it from $2,570.89 to $2,244.41.