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Officer Poortinga Joins Force
Recently hired by the Escalon Police Department, new officer Carl Poortinga graduated from the police academy at San Joaquin Delta College in August. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s newest police officer is settling in and finding small town police work to his liking.

A U.S. Navy veteran with 20 years’ service, Carl Poortinga was recently brought on board with Escalon and has already worked a variety of shifts, from days to swing and graveyard. He is also picking up valuable insight and information from his Field Training Officers and said he is pleased to put on the uniform each day.

“This is my first (assignment) as a police officer, I finished the San Joaquin Delta Academy in August of this year,” Poortinga said.

He learned of the need for an officer in Escalon when Police Chief Mike Borges went on a ‘recruiting trip’ to the academy.

“I was born in Southern California but we moved to this area right before I started junior high,” Poortinga said, adding that he graduated from Ripon Christian High School and then joined the Navy, retiring in 2011. His field in the Navy was aviation electronics but he said when he retired, he wanted to get into law enforcement.

“Three of my younger brothers went into law enforcement so it’s kind of a family tradition,” Poortinga said.

The new officer said he is adjusting well to the small town atmosphere and so far has enjoyed meeting and interacting with community residents. He lives in San Joaquin County and said the rural, small Escalon department seemed like it would be a good fit for him.

“I’m learning the job and learning about Escalon,” he said.

Chief Borges said Poortinga has fit in well and was a good hire for the department.

“Kudos to our HR department, he was one of the last that applied (for the opening) and they squeezed him in to the testing process,” said Borges. “With his military background, he brings a sense of maturity and he is acclimating very well, with only a few weeks on the streets, I look forward to having him here for a while.”

Borges said Poortinga was also pursued by Sonora and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, so he is pleased that Escalon won out over the other two possibilities.

Escalon is also looking to hire another officer within the next month, said Borges, and are planning a promotion to sergeant within the department following completion of that application and testing process.