An idea by a Crossroads resident grew, spreading across the pages of Facebook to include many friends and neighbors, and came to fruition Monday morning at the Riverbank Police Services office on Third Street in the downtown area.
Dubbed ‘Thank a Deputy,’ about 20 people gathered a variety of baked and packaged goodies along with bottled beverages, donated from around the community, meeting at the Plaza del Rio, then carried them across the street to the office and deputies. Many others who could not be present provided some of the items. It was a sweet, early morning visit, coming around 8 a.m. Monday. It also included local firefighters, in addition to police and city personnel.
It was the idea of Amanda Lowell, who said it was designed as a ‘small gesture of community support’ for the men and women who serve the city. Members of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Station in town arrived shortly after the volunteers. As Police Chief Erin Kiely spoke for the deputies, interim Fire Chief Mike Wapnowski accepted the treats for the firefighters.
“I was surprised at just how many people took time out of their Monday morning to come by RPS, give us well wishes, show their support, bring food, sports drinks, coffee and water,” said Kiely. “This gesture was humbling for us and we very much appreciate it.”
City Council member and local businesswoman Darlene Barber Martinez was also involved in the effort and noted, “It was great to see the community come out to support this event. The conference room table was full of goodies, a room full of residents and deputies sharing the awesomeness of Riverbank.”
Another spokesperson in the group expressed her wish that the effort might somehow counteract all the bad news in the national press lately, with death, destruction and attending sorrow the result. Pastors from Shelter Cove Church were present and one offered a prayer of protection and appreciation.
The group wanted the local deputies, firefighters and their support staff to know how much they are appreciated.
Originally planned for an early Friday and early Monday morning delivery, to cover all officers on all shifts, the delivery of the snacks, desserts and beverages was reorganized to just the single day on Monday because it worked better for scheduling purposes.
News Reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.