Tustin PD patrol officers win Free Lunch Fridays from Christian music station 95.9 FM The Fish


They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Well, sometimes there is.

A Tustin PD lieutenant, seeking to show her hard-working day shift patrol officers a little love, won them a free lunch recently from Christian music station 95.9 FM The Fish (thefishla.com).

Every week throughout most of the year, the radio station invites listeners to enter its Free Lunch Fridays promotion. Lt. Stephanie Nichols, a diehard fan of The Fish, did just that in late November.

“They don’t get the recognition that they need,” said Nichols, a TPD veteran of 20 years who is in charge of South Area Command (everything south of the 5 Freeway).

Tustin PD Officers (from left) Merwin Caiza, Taylor Babb, Hector Frias, and Charles Carter sit down to a lunch provided to them by Christian music station 95.9 FM The Fish at PD headquarters on Dec. 20
Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

On Friday, Dec. 20, two representatives from The Fish showed up with 12 sandwiches and sides from Sessions West Coast Deli in Newport Beach after the radio station selected the TPD as the winner of the contest, sponsored by Associated Heating and Air.

The Fish broadcasts out of Glendale but has a sales office in Orange County, where it has a huge base of listeners, said Carlos Canedo, promotions assistant.

“They (police officers) are overlooked and they do so much work,” Canedo said.

His colleague, fellow promotions assistant Mary Garcia, said she respects all first responders, and that the TPD is among the first law enforcement agencies to win the Free Lunch Fridays contest.

Nichols listens to the station at work.

“It keeps me calm,” she said.

Tustin PD Lt. Stephanie Nichols (right) talks about nominating her officers for a free lunch. Also pictured are (from left) Sgt. Michael Van Cleve, Officer Merwin Caiza, Officer Taylor Babb, Officer Hector Frias, Sgt. Diego Gomez, and Officer Charles Carter.
Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

Some dispatch and records personnel also joined in the free lunch.

“We really appreciate this,” Officer Hector Frias said after polishing off a sandwich. “We work Friday through Sunday, so we don’t get to see (administrators) as much as the officers who work during the week. So this is a great gesture, you know? It’s nice to know they (management) are looking out for us.”

Nichols didn’t have a sandwich. She wanted to make sure her officers and others did.

“Now they like me a little better,” she joked.

Tustin PD officers next to The Fish 95.9 FM van in front of TPD headquarters.
Steven Georges/Behind the Badge