A special presentation at the Escalon City Council meeting on Monday, April 15 saw recognition offered and a certificate of appreciation presented from the council to Officer Zachary Pelham for his 19 years of service to the City of Escalon and its Police Department.
Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges congratulated Pelham in presenting the certificate.
The city certificate noted Pelham’s retirement from the Escalon Police Department, and his 19 years of service to the City of Escalon as a reserve police officer.
“Your experience and willingness to serve countless hours to this community have not gone unnoticed,” the certificate read. “The City truly values the loyalty and dedication you have given the community with your time and commitment, all of which has made Escalon a better place to live and work.”
Pelham was also presented with his retired police ID card. During his tenure with the department, Officer Pelham logged an estimated 4,200 of service, most of this without pay, performing the duties of a reserve police officer.
“He began his career with the Escalon Police Department on September 7, 2000 and retired from the agency on April 1, 2019,” Chief Borges said. “The department hosted a retirement party for him on March 30 at the community center. During the last three years, Officer Pelham was the commander of the Reserve unit, taking over for retired reserve police officer Terry Pinheiro.”
His duties include monthly reporting of the number of hours each reserve officer worked each month, ensuring special events were staffed with reserve officers, and assisting the patrol sergeants in managing the reserve unit. Currently the reserve unit has 12 officers, but was up to 15 officers at one point.
“Officer Pelham had many stories shared about him during his retirement dinner, but one that may have been missed was an act of kindness that exemplified the type of person Officer Pelham is,” the chief added, noting that he literally gave a transient the socks and shoes off his fee
Borges outlined the incident: On Sept. 26 shortly after 8 a.m., Officer Anthony Hardgraves came across an individual who was homeless, without shoes, and said he had all of his property stolen while he was in Stockton. He was walking to Modesto, when contacted by Hardgraves, walking from Stockton with no shoes. Officer Hardgraves transported him to the police department where he decided to give the man a pair of his old work boots. However, Officer Hardgraves wears a size 14 and they turned out to be too big for him. As this was taking place Officer Pelham, and Police Services Manager Sara Cardoso were both at the office to work the Drug Drop Off event. Officer Pelham, seeing the shoes given to the man were too big, then took off the shoes and socks he was wearing and gave them to individual to wear.
“The individual told staff that he has had his “run ins” with the law, but has never had the police be this kind, he began to cry,” Borges explained. “He was extremely happy and told the staff that this incident had changed his heart about law enforcement. After resting at the station, he left walking to Modesto.”
Officer Pelham was also presented with a certificate of appreciation from Assemblyman Heath Flora’s office for his years of service, presented by liaison Jason Laughlin at the Monday night council meeting.