Now at full staff, the Escalon Police Department welcomed newly sworn officer Travis Sharp to the force on Tuesday night, Feb. 18. A badge pinning ceremony was hosted at the council session and Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges performed the swearing in, while Officer Sharp’s wife and son did the badge pinning duties.
“With the addition of Officer Sharp, this now completes the council desire to have the department at full staff in 2020,” said Chief Borges. “It feels great but I’ll feel better when they’re all operating on their own without a Field Training Officer.”
Sharp is the only one still with an FTO and is currently working with Detective Anthony Hardgraves for his field training.
“When we’re fully staffed, it’s a lot easier to cover sick time, vacations, it’s more a simple adjustment in hours without a lot of overtime,” Borges noted.
Having officers on duty with a sergeant to supervise and assist when needed brings a level of comfort to the community and the officers on patrol, added the chief.
“A few weeks ago we had a situation where we had a stressful domestic incident and we had three officers available to respond instead of two,” Borges explained. “It’s a much different feeling going in with three.”
Bringing the department to a full complement of 12 officers was a council goal and Borges said he is glad it has been met.
Officer Sharp’s wife Serena and 5-year-old son pinned the badge while his wife also held their two-week-old daughter in her arms. Also attending was Officer Sharp’s mother and grandmother.
The officer has lived in the Central Valley area for most of his life, though he lived briefly in Missouri and graduated from high school there. He attended Modesto Junior College and was in the workforce for over a decade before deciding to get into law enforcement. He attended the police academy and graduated from the Stanislaus County Training Center in January of 2019.
Borges said having a full roster of officers should also allow them to pull Detective Hardgraves out of a patrol slot and have him devote more time to follow up work and detailed investigations.
“I’m hoping March 3 goes our way,” Borges added, noting that he is hopeful local voters will support Measure S, a half-cent sales tax that would have proceeds dedicated specifically to the police department.