During the Tustin Police Department’s annual volunteer appreciation banquet, the agency’s nine volunteers were described as “valuable,” “irreplaceable,” “versatile,” and were told “they match our energy,” “they are as excited to be here as we are” and “they come in here and walk to the walk.”
Captain Manny Arzate emceed the festivities, which were held June 21 at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin. The volunteer program is representative of the quality of the community, Arzate said.
“You come in here (and) you do it for free,” the captain said. “You do it oftentimes without recognition. Allow us to recognize you tonight. I truly have a lot of gratitude for what you do.”
Tustin Police Department volunteers serve in a variety of roles that include filing and assisting at open houses and school site visits.
“It is very intimate,” Police Services Officer Jennifer Jones said. “I get to know them. They get to know us. When they leave, I feel like they take a little piece of my heart with them.”
Robert Tischler, who has logged about 300 hours in his three years of service, said he became interested in volunteering after participating in the department’s citizen’s academy.
“It’s rewarding to do it,” Tischler said. “You get out in the community and talk to people. Just recently we had fundraising for the Special Olympics and you get to meet some of these athletes.”
Over his 20-plus years as a Tustin Police Department volunteer, Raymond Leger has logged 9,000 volunteer hours and taken on several roles. Leger began volunteering along with his wife, Kathy, who had amassed 20 years of service before she died. He continues to volunteer to honor her memory and is happy to do whatever he is asked to do.
“It’s a family,” Leger said. “The people here, they treat us with respect. I learn something just about every day. I learn something about my community.”
There was also a touch of humor included in this year’s festivities as each volunteer was honored with a “Most Likely To” award.
Jean Gayer: 5,000 hours of service over 13 years. Gayer received the “Most Likely to Go Undercover Award for possessing the skills and experience necessary to successfully carry out a covert operation.”
Marilyn Hogan: 10,800 hours of service over 15 years. Hogan was honored with the “Most Likely to Have an Alibi Award for having a detailed account of where she had been and what she was doing on any given day.”
Raymond Leger: 9,000 hours of service over 20 years. Leger received the “Most Likely to be First on the Scene and Last to Clear Award for being the early bird that gets the worm and staying until the job is finished.”
Howard Lamberg: 1,100 hours of service over seven years. Lamberg was the “Most Likely to Evade a Foot Pursuit Award for successfully competing and medaling in various running events and being quicker than any of us will ever be.”
Wendy Meyers: 2,200 hours over 11 years of service. Meyers earned the “Most Likely to be the Court’s Star Witness Award for remembering people, places and things that everyone else does not recognize or remember.”
Karen Scola: 500 hours of service over six years. Scola received the “Most Likely to Talk their Way Out of a Ticket Award for being as sweet as pie and having an accent that anyone could listen to for hours.”
Robert Tischler: 300 hours of service over three years. He received the “Most Likely to Drive the Getaway Car Award for possessing the skills and experience from his time in fleet to successfully operate any vehicle.”
Richard Yurosko: 1,700 hours of service over nine years. Yurosko took home the “Most Likely to Commit the Perfect Crime Award for possessing the skills and experience necessary from his time in the Crime Scene Investigation unit to not get caught.”
Dexter Jones: New volunteer. Even as a new volunteer, Jones was given the “Most Likely to be a Code Breaker Award for possessing information technology expertise.”