Looking back over the last five years, Mike Borges has seen several improvements for the Escalon Police Department.
The police chief – who recently marked his fifth anniversary serving the city as its top cop – said the goal is to always keep improving, both in technology and in services provided to the community.
Borges said it’s still hard to believe he has been with the city for five years, as the time went fast, but he isn’t ready to stop reporting for work just yet. He came to Escalon from Ceres and said it seems the typical tenure for a chief is between five and 10 years.
“I belong to a statewide association and they didn’t hand out too many 10-year pins to chiefs,” he noted of a recent annual meeting. “Since I’ve been here, since 2014, there have been changes in Tracy, Manteca, Lodi, the sheriff’s office Lathrop substation, all have changed chiefs.”
Borges arrived just after Park Fete in 2014, coming to Escalon after 34 years with the Ceres Police Department. He joined Ceres as a patrolman in 1980 and left as the deputy chief, taking the opportunity to serve as the chief here.
“I think the biggest change since I’ve been here is what we’ve done with technology,” he noted. “With the body worn cameras, the UAV (drone), the electric motorcycle.”
He’s also looking forward to hiring an additional officer in early 2020, part of the budgeting process that also included a recent hire, with Nathaniel Vieira moving in to a fulltime position. The department is now looking over the applications for the second fulltime new hire.
“With the two new police officers, we’ll be able to reorganize and get a fulltime detective back,” he said of being at a full staffing level.
The department also includes two sergeants – Gustavo Flores and Rob Lackey – with Anthony Hardgraves serving as detective.
While Escalon generally enjoys a lower crime rate than many surrounding cities, Borges said there have been some significant calls in the last year, including the first officer-involved shooting in many years.
As far as the department’s Reserve unit, they currently have 12 reserve offices and there are also a group of four volunteers that assist with vacation checks and community events, as well as eight Explorers.
“I love it,” the chief admitted of serving in his current role. “I’m kind of sorry I didn’t find Escalon earlier in my career. It’s a great community and I love working here.”
He also pointed to the constant support of his wife Susan for being instrumental in helping him in his law enforcement career. The two celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on Aug. 1.