Honoring retirees is tradition at the Tustin Police Department.
Every year, the department invites its retirees to lunch and provides them with updates about the department and the community.
The annual event took place at the Tustin Ranch Golf Course and gave retirees a chance to mingle with each other.
“I come every year since I have retired,” retired Lt. Bill Fisher said. “I like connecting with old friends.”
Chief Stu Greenberg, who joined the department in January, kicked off the lunch by introducing himself and welcoming the retirees.
“I will tell you, I consider myself to be really lucky because in my career I never thought being a chief or being a sheriff or something like that was the direction I’d go,” Greenberg said. “The family type of environment that is here right now, probably has been here forever, is just amazing.”
Greenburg gave the group a brief background on himself and about his history working in law enforcement before Deputy Chief Jeff Blair informed the group about department changes.
Blair told the retirees about Tustin’s new uniforms and new hires. He also shared good news: that the department will be adding two additional K9s within the year.
However, this year’s luncheon also addressed the increasing crime rate and another main concern for the community — homelessness and homeless outreach.
“It’s all encompassing, we had four meetings this week on homelessness and about the shelter,” Lt. Brian Greene said. “(Homelessness) has really impacted our agency over the last two years.”
In addition to the impact the homeless community is having on the department, Greene talked about Tustin’s new homeless shelter, which was completed 90 days after construction started.
The shelter opened March 18, and can safely house 50 people.
“As you know, at least 85 percent of the homeless people we come in contact with resist help,” Greene said. “But the way we look at it, we aren’t going to give up and we’re going to continue to work with these people.”
Greene explained that the shelter currently houses 27 people, which includes a family of five.
“I have seen nothing but great things since my time here and you have former Chief’s Jordan and Celano that nobody will stop talking about, so I have big expectations to live up to,” Greenberg said. “But it’s an honor to finally meet all of you and we will continue to do this because it’s important and you’re still our family.”