South San Francisco, CA September 18, 2016
What if you called 911 and no one responded? What if our officers decided to rethink their careers and move onto safer employment were their actions were appreciated and rewarded more than what we are seeing today? The difficulties our southern neighbors are experiencing in San Jose is a prime example of what more departments are facing as new recruits dwindle from prospective hiring lists.
When asked why they chose to become officers a few of our own responded “I’ve always wanted to serve my community, and policing I believe, is the best way I can do this” and “To help protect innocent people from the bad guys”. Some come from a long line of officers and it is a family tradition of pride. But there has to be more, why would they get up every day, put on the uniform leaving their family, and really not knowing if they will return at the end of their shift? South City resident Brenda Rodriquez is married to an officer in a neighboring city “Every time he goes out in uniform I worry” she expressed during ESC’s presentation of Police Survival Bags to our Department.
With all the negative press officers are receiving across our nation, we believe it is time to stand up for our own and acknowledge the work they do on our behalf. While we recognize every industry has some within their ranks that do not belong and must be removed, we also recognize those are very few in numbers. Our South San Francisco Police Department continues to train all members on new skills, both physical and mental, and to reinforce the qualities that brought them to their career decisions.
Every day our officers are doing things for those in our community which never make the news. And that is why ESC is committed to showcasing what our officers do, in small ways and big ways, that benefit us all. This month’s Thank A Cop Day was recognized on September 17th and we asked our readers to share some of their positive experiences they have encountered with our South City Police. A winner randomly selected from the entries would receive $100. And their officer, or the department in general, would also receive $100. We are proud to share the stories sent to us and remind our residents that everyday should be ‘Thank A Cop Day’.
AND THE WINNER IS JAZREL OLVERA!
“Today as I was leaving Citibank near Buri Buri I saw 2 officers turning in towards the police station. The police car in the black car turned its lights on and went straight ahead and blocked the intersection. Standing in the crosswalk was an elderly woman waiting for the light to turn green for her to cross. Both officers got out of the car and were talking to the elderly woman. One of the officers held her by elbow and helped her cross the street. With all of the chaos that is happening these days with the police it is nice to see that we still have some officers that are showing compassion. I wanted to recognize those two officers from the SSFPD. I don’t know their names but it was such a nice gesture.” Jazrel Olvera.
“SSF United Youth Soccer League Rec Parade! Thank you to the South San Francisco Police Department for Scrimmaging with our kids, all our teams and the Burlingame Dragons for supporting the kids!” Sebastian Falko
“Obviously “policing” is a very hot topic across America. But one place it is NOT a topic is right here in good old SSF. I have lived here my whole life (42 years) and we truly do have a bunch of great men and women protecting us. I know quite a few on a personal level and they are unbelievable, fair, and great people. So thank you #SSFPD!” Keith Leveroni
“There are more good officers then bad! I was always taught to respect the law. If an officer told me to something I did for his safety and mine.
Here’s to all the men and women who put their lives in jeopardy every day to keep our cities and citizens safe”Michele Ferrario Burbano.
” I just wanted to say thank you Officer Amy and her collegue who is a South City policeman for saving my life from a serious situation i don’t like to think about it much for safety reasons, i keep what I post on Facebook and instagram for love of culinary passions. Not for bad situations like crime or abuse. On this day of September 17th I’ll be baking up something for Officer Amy and her collegue officer who saved me from the situation as part of #thankacopday they are hard working people” Chef Ava Marie
“I had many positive encounters with the SSFPD when I took the citizen’s academy about 4 years ago. I have a whole new appreciation for what they do for us all.” Laura Alban Walsh
“I love SSFPD! They help keep our city Safe and help keep our kids safe. I always love when they make their elementary school visits to interact with the kids. I was so honored and proud when my son was chosen to be in the first youth police academy with a partnership through the park and Rec. I hope my daughter will get the same opportunity when she is old enough!! Thank you SSFPD for all you do!” Angelique Presidente
“I don’t live in south city anymore so I guess my entry won’t count. But I’ve had nothing but good encounters with SSFPD. When I was a teenager, I was having a hard time dealing with life and my mom was concerned so she called SSFPD to come out and talk to me once. The officer didn’t act like I was crazy or anything like that. He knew that I was just a human being having a hard time dealing with things and treated me as that. He really helped me that night. I lived on hillside where accidents happened all the time. There are times he responded to the calls and after doing his job, he took the moment to see how I was doing. Unfortunately, I can’t remember, for the life of me, his name. But that’s my positive experience.
Also, I think we should thank a cop everyday. I try to. With all the tension in this world, everyone deserves some love once in a while.” Sharon Kay Gustilo Meyer
“I want to take a moment and thank officer Anthony PINELL. As a juvenile my son may have headed down a wrong path until Anthony PINELL took him under his wing and asked my son to participate in the Hero Program. With positive reinforcement and support my son graduated high school went to college. At the current age of 23. My son almost a year ago landed a career job making enough money to buy a home. Funny this came up because my son has been trying to reach Anthony to thank him. I thank officer PINELL. We all have a gift. Anthony gave my son a gift of his time and with that everything he taught my son will be everlasting success. I’m not writing this to win anything but to give thanks.” Dayna Damico.
“The SSFPD always take the time to come talk to the kids at local elementary schools. I’ve also seen them giving presentations at the library for kids. I’m happy they work so hard for our community!” Jessica Harris
“I just had a chat with an officer on Saturday (garage sale day) to complain to him about people driving on our street going too fast, especially with people walking around shopping the garage sales – he listened to what I had to say and then gave me some suggestions on what to do, he was genuine in our conversation and I appreciated that – naturally I didn’t get his name” Kathy Altizio Tetreault.
“I am going to to Citizen’s Police Academy tonight, like I do each Thursday night. In these classes I have learned things about what police officers are asked to do and why they expect such high standards from each other. Taking these classes requires a commitment. The knowledge you receive is the reward.” Steve Carey
“A few months ago I was pulled over for going 55 on El Camino near KFC. I was trying to catch a flight. He gave me a ticket and said, “I don’t think you’re going to make your flight.” Well, I made my flight! Why I am posting this here? Because I made my flight! Positive post because I gave my license and registration and nothing bad happened to me compared to oh I don’t know … Ferguson … etc etc. I think Kaepernick should stand his ass up for the anthem. At the same time, this is South San Francisco … not Oakland, Richmond, or the South. But yeah, SSFPD is cool.” Jose Chavez
“We won an auction at Sunshine Gardens. The prize was a ride to school in a police car for my kids. Officer Murphy and a few other amazing officers picked up my 2 kids for a ride to school. They pulled in the parking lot with the lights and sirens. My kids loved it. The officers were awesome but Officer Murphy was the best!!” Dawn Reese
“One time I was driving on way to work and I always see a group of kids playing soccer on a corner. One of those days I saw two police officers playing with them, with their heavy belts on. I thought it was great for them to do this. Great sight to see. Thank you for that. I loved it” Flor Flores M
“When i was about 16 in 2003 a crime had occurred at the house behind ours, over the fence. A police office, i unfortunately do not remember his rank but do remember his name Hart. He told me I should be a police officer based on my questions about the crime, he was very encouraging and was the reason I decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. I will always be grateful to him for guiding me in the right direction.” Priyanka Sharma
“One night I forgot to close my windows on my car. The officer knew of my business and sent me a text to remind me to close my window to avoid a break in. Thanks – Shakeel The Phone Guy” Shaklee Taiyab.
“Special shout out to Officer Murphy for being so kind to this frazzled mom on a Friday morning!!” Irene Tsobanakis
“Winston Manor Community Association would like to thank the following: Sergeant David Kennen,Sergeant Sean Curmi, Sergeant Adam Plank,Corporal Famida Murphy, and Lutenant John Kallas, for their years of dedication to our Friday Night Teen Basketball and our Children’s Christmas Party. They made such a difference in our children’s lives for many years. We would also like to Thank all of SSFPD both active and some retired for all the community events that they participated in West Winston Manor over the years. A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU.” Cindy Alger
“As a Police Office Volunteer for the South San Francisco Police Department for 16 years, I have met so many wonderful men and women of the Department over the years. I have watched them grow into fine officers, some retired, others move on to other Agencies and others get promoted, which one of those young men is our Chief Jeff Azzopardi. I feel part of this family, which I see they have here at the Police Department, they sure do treat me like family. I see their dedication and commitment to serve this City of ours. I applaud all our Officers who keep our City safe! Thank you for all you do! I must emphasize BLUE LIVES MATTER!!! As a mother I must talk a little about my son, Sgt. Sean Curmi, who has worked so hard to get to where he is today. He has accomplished so much for our Community especially when he was assigned COPPS Duty. He takes his job seriously and performs everything with such dedication. It makes me feel good, happy and proud when I hear residents speaking highly of Sean. He makes his job a #1priority every time he puts his uniform on and it really shows that he loves his job by showing how much he cares for the community.I pray to God to keep my son and all Officers safe each day and night!” Dolores Curmi
“I was working at Philz coffee, and an officer came into order his bagel & coffee. He made a quick run to Walgreens when his “break” was interrupted by a drug bust. His bagel went cold & his coffee went unattended in his patrol vehicle. After an hour of fulfilling his duty, he was ready to take his detainee to the department for processing. I ran out to him & handed him a fresh bagel because I didn’t want his money to go to waste & his stomach to stay empty. He gave a little laugh & thanked me. About a couple of hours later, as the coffee shop got busy, he walked over to my bar (me, unaware) and thanked me for what I had done. Through all the chaos of a drug bust, his service didn’t go unnoticed. He mentioned he told the guys in the department (SSFPD) & they had his same reaction….thankfulness. As a community, when you extend your hand to an officer, you shouldn’t expect anything in return as a reward or compensation. Just do it out of the goodness of your heart bc they willingly risk their lives every day for strangers. One small act can make their day!” Sara
If you would like to learn more about our Police Department and what our officers do, you may be interested in the SSF Citizen’s Police Academy, a FREE 12 week course offered to residents. For more information please contact Corporal Jason Pfarr CLICK HERE
While we participated in ‘Thank a Police Officer Day’ we encourage this practice at every opportunity. The easiest way to show appreciation is to simply say thank you. Take a moment to let an officer know you appreciate their service. Smile and / or wave as you pass by. Give a nod of your head. Every act of kindness and support goes a long way in a long day that can be filled with additional concern during these trying times.
And remember to always comply when asked by an officer, no matter if you believe the attention is warranted or not. There will be opportunities later to address any concerns you may have. Everyone has a job to do and everyone wants to come home safe.
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences allowing us to feature some of the good works of our South San Francisco Police Officers.