The wait ends, and the groundbreaking of a new police station begins after a $4 million grant to the City of Selma three years ago, but a true FIFTEEN years after a call for help by a citizen in 2004 for which a hero arises.
This building will soon house those quiet heroes of Selma dressed in navy, blue and white who protect our community from crimes and enforce the laws of the land: our Selma Police officers and staff, community service officers, volunteer Explorers and Volunteers In Policing (VIP).
Measure P was originally meant to focus our efforts in educating our community to the need of housing our law enforcement in a new facility that promoted their work, their safety and their status in our city of 25,000 in population with a nearly 100 year old renovated Southern Pacific train station meant for a staff of 12 now supporting over 45.
“Yes on Measure P” really was an effort by neighbors who felt strongly that our community deserved more. And with a community-wide two-thirds vote in favor, we succeeded in getting this matching bond passed. Leading the efforts were Lisa and Louis Franco, Jennifer Earle, Ken and Marla Grey, Nick Sahota, Char Tucker, Steve Yribarren, Pastor Nelson Schwamb and Pete Esraelian.
These are the individuals and neighbors who felt the need for promoting our Selma law enforcement beyond just their own daily tasks.
Going further back in history, the Francos and Pete Esraelian were heavily involved with the original support of Measure S for Public Safety, passed in 2007 by an 86 percent majority, providing additional support funds to both the Fire and Police departments in Selma.
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But to remember Measure P is to remember Pete Esraelian, my true hero of Selma. Measure P will always be associated with Esraelian for his lifetime of service to the Selma Community, first as a banker, then as city clerk and now as a volunteer for many of the committees supporting our city.
My hero, Pete, will forever be remembered as my mentor in public service. He is one to often stay out of the limelight, but effectively gets things done. He nominated me as the chairman of the Measure S Committee (from ad hoc to campaign to oversight), for which I gratefully appreciated. But now, ingrained forever in my mind will be the new Selma Police Station, supported by the State of California and our Measure P… and in my thoughts, Pete Esraelian.
To Pete (and wife Deeneece, who allows him), thank you!
Dr. Stanley Y. Louie, Member of Class Two, Leadership Selma