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A special opening night for the Wasco PD

The community came together last Thursday night for the grand opening ceremony of the new Wasco Police Department, marking a new chapter in the community's safety. There was food, music and speakers recognizing key stakeholders, including the chief of police, Charles Fivecoat, the city manager, Scott Hurlbert, and Councilmember Gilberto Reyna, who played significant roles in establishing the police department.

"Tonight was extremely humbling," Chief Fivecoat said. "I truly wanted to express to the citizens, the city employees and our City Council that the only reason this police agency exists is because we all had a common goal. We came together and made it happen. It took all of us and certainly required God's grace."

City Manager Scott Hurlbert added, "This is a great event for the community to show their support for the police department and an opportunity to thank the many, many people who helped make the Wasco Police Department a reality."

Councilmember Gilberto Reyna said, "As mayor in July 2022, I formed and led the Wasco Public Safety Steering Advisory Committee. This group, including Councilmember Vincent Martinez and community members Marcus Ballard, Rosalinda Chairez, Tracy Clendenen, Sharon Nicol, Orquidea Ocampo and Billy Coleman, played a crucial role in creating our new Police Department. The committee gathered information on the startup cost of equipment and personnel operating costs. We worked diligently to plan for a police force specific to Wasco's needs.

"Their dedication and teamwork made a big difference, positively impacting our community's safety in a way we can all be proud of. We provided the impetus to establish a Police Department that genuinely serves the residents of Wasco. I sincerely thank Chief Fivecoat, our city manager, Scott Hurlbert, and everyone involved for their hard work and vision."

State Sen. Melissa Hurtado attended the event: "I'm here to celebrate what the council and the community of Wasco have accomplished. They did this in a timely manner because the state is now facing a budget deficit, so the funds they secured in the state budget are a big deal for many reasons. I'm happy for the community, and I know everybody wants to feel safe in their community."

Mayor Pro Tem Valentin Medina stated, "It's an honor and a privilege to recognize all the hard work and effort that has gone into starting our Wasco police department. This is an endeavor that the city of Wasco wouldn't have been able to achieve without the support of city staff, council, our local senator, Melissa Hurtado, Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains, Supervisor David Couch, and, of course, Chief of Police Charles Fivecoat and our city manager, Scott Hurlbert.

"Over the last month and a half, the WascoPD has been active in our city, interacting with our city, which was a key factor that had been missing here for some time now. We look forward to the positive impact and hard work the Wasco PD will do in our town."

Orquidea Ocampo was part of the steering committee. "I'm happy to see the Police Department come to fruition. I want to thank City Manager Scott Hurlbert and Chief Charlie Fivecoat for the wonderful job they are doing. All of the citizens of Wasco are happy."

Councilmember Vincent Martinez shared, "I think tonight was a great event organized by our city staff. We had a great turnout not only from the city of Wasco but also from the surrounding communities. The entire community is excited for this police department, and their impact on the city is already being felt."

"I want to thank our entire city staff for helping bring this Police department together, and I also want to thank the men and women who are protecting our city."

Mayor Alex Garcia also had positive thoughts on the event: "Tonight's celebration epitomizes the small-town spirit of Wasco. We are a small town with little resources, but we are able to do great things through collaboration. We have to give thanks to God for our city's newest department because the journey has had way too many coincidences to be just that."


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