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Summer Finale Monday
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The unofficial 'end' of summer comes on Monday, in the form of Labor Day, with schools out for the day, no mail delivery, banks and city offices closed and businesses with the option of closing.

The Escalon City Council, which normally meets on the first and third Mondays of the month, will meet instead on Tuesday, Sept. 6 for their regular 'first Monday' session starting at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, council members reviewed the city response to a Civil Grand Jury report at their last meeting and City Manger Henry Hesling said the city basically had to show that they had made changes to certain policies and procedures previously cited by the grand jury as needing change. That was done, he said, with all changes already implemented and helping the city be more efficient.

The council also lauded the efforts of the police department reserves, with a number of reserve officers on hand, those officers picking up the slack while the department has been dealing with the absence of regular uniformed patrol officers.

"We have fulltime officers on disability, regular sick leave and one officer that was injured in the line of duty," Hesling told the council. "Being a small department, it's kind of tough to field the people that you need on a day to day basis."

With many reserve officers pulling extra shifts, however, the department has continued to operate smoothly, Hesling said.

"The chief (interim Police Chief Jim Shaw) has done a good job, along with officers we have and the reserves."

Mayor Danny Fox, a retired police lieutenant from Escalon PD, echoed the sentiments of Hesling.

"I certainly appreciate all the volunteerism, we need it," he said. "I cut my teeth on being a reserve officer in Manteca and here as well. I, for one, know the importance of your volunteerism and the hours that you put in above and beyond ... we don't always have the opportunity to pat you on the back. Good job."

Councilman Jeff Laugero, now with the Stanislaus County District Attorney's office but also a former police officer, said the work that reserve officers and department volunteers do is often overlooked.

"A lot of times you are underappreciated, pretty low on the totem pole," Laugero admitted. "Having been a reserve, I appreciate the work you guys do.

"Here, I hope you feel a part of the force. You're part of the reason we get the job done."

Some of those reserve officers will be out on patrol for the long weekend, with traffic in the area expected to be flowing at a high volume as people head out for the final summer holiday.