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Eagle Scout Project To Honor Officers

Members of the Riverbank City Council have unanimously authorized a Peace Officer Memorial Plaque to be placed at the Riverbank Police Services (RPS) building. The request for the plaque was prompted by Riverbank resident and Boy Scout, Joey Timpone, as he looks to complete the requirements to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

“The Eagle project is the last step to get the highest achievement that you can earn in Boy Scouts,” expressed Timpone to the City Council during the recent virtual meeting. “It has been my goal for a while to do a project that was a little more complex than the usual. I chose to do a memorial because I come from a military family and I am also a Police Explorer. So I have a strong support for law enforcement and it was really important to me to do an Eagle Project that had something to do with law enforcement.”

All members of the City Council were present at the virtual meeting including Mayor Richard O’Brien, Vice Mayor Luis Uribe, and Councilmembers Cindy Fosi, Cal Campbell and Darlene Barber-Martinez.

Several months ago Timpone met with city staff and former RPS Chief Erin Kiely to discuss the plan for his final project in pursuit of the Eagle Scout rank. The project was a plaque listing the names and dates of deputies that died in the line of duty in the City of Riverbank. Recently Timpone collaborated with current RPS Chief Ed Ridenour on the design and specifics of the plaque.

“I was very impressed by this young man, his maturity level, and his desire to give back to his community,” stated Ridenour. “After he explained a typical Eagle Scout project and what it entailed, I was honored that he chose to remember law enforcement officers that paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting the community they serve.”

The plan is to mount the plaque on the front of the RPS building with two names listed on it, Riverbank Police Officer Harold B. Harless and Deputy Antonio “Tony” Hinostroza III.

Harless died on Oct. 17, 1965 when he was struck by a vehicle that was traveling at an approximate speed of 100 mph on Patterson Road. It was reported that he was killed instantly. He was 42 years old and was survived by his wife and five children. Harless had served the community as a Police Officer for seven years.

Hinostroza died while responding to a vehicle pursuit that began in Riverbank on Nov. 25, 2018. While assisting in the pursuit his vehicle struck a utility pole at the intersection of Claribel Road and Terminal Avenue which led to his death. He was 45 years old and had been in law enforcement for 19 years. Hinostroza is survived by his son.

The Eagle Scout candidate with Riverbank Troop 1100 raised all the funds necessary for the project that is estimated at $1300.

“I am really happy that we have gotten this far,” added Timpone to the council at the meeting. “I hope the council likes the memorial that we have been working on. I am really pleased that we were able to come this far and able to honor both these officers.”

Although there is no municipal code requiring council approval for a memorial, city staff requested council feedback and authorization.

Mayor O’Brien expressed that it was very thoughtful and that he hopes the remaining blank spaces are never filled.

“It sounds like the community came together,” said Uribe. “It means a lot to me as well. I remember the day when officer Hinostroza tragically passed away. I drive by that location every day. I love the concept of what you are doing, Joey. I applaud you there and I am in full support of this.”

Barber-Martinez and Fosi thanked Timpone for recognizing the police force and taking the time to do the project.

“They (law enforcement) don’t get enough thanks and they don’t get enough recognition for things they do for us,” noted Barber-Martinez.

“Joey, thank you for doing something positive to recognize our police force,” remarked Campbell. “They need all that they can get with what’s going on in society now and we need to keep looking for more positive things to honor the people that take care of us.”

Timpone has mixed emotions on whether he wants to pursue the medical field or law enforcement. He is virtually attending Point Loma Nazarene University for his freshman year. For the past two years he has participated as a Police Explorer with the Modesto Police Department.

There is no date as of yet when the plaque will be mounted at RPS but there are plans for a small dedication ceremony when that date is set.

“Riverbank is a tight-knit community, and our law enforcement officers tend to have a more personal relationship with our residents than that of larger cities,” noted Ridenour. “It is important to remember the hard work they do every day and realize their profession is dangerous. Even with this danger, our law enforcement officers charge forward as they want what we all want, a safe community to raise their families in. Joey’s project will forever memorialize the law enforcement officers who gave their lives protecting Riverbank residents.”