During the past month, the Lodi Police Partners lost two of their longtime volunteers who have helped make the program that assists the Lodi Police Department a success.
On Sept. 8, Francis Jolley, who went by Frannie, died at the age of 77. She was a Police Partner for almost 10 years. She worked patrol frequently and did a lot of fingerprinting and administration work in the Partners office.
Another volunteer, Frances Reilly, who went by Fran, died on Sept. 10 at the age of 79. She joined the Partners 18 years ago, which was the program's first year. She worked patrol every Monday for years.
Police Partners patrol the community doing jobs that help the department with day-to-day tasks, said Special Services Manager Jeanie Biskup, who coordinates the Partners program.
The volunteers are mostly retirees, and they take care of abandoned vehicles around town, knock on doors to ask residents to move things out of the street like basketball hoops, serve subpoenas and take down garage sale posters. Reilly held the record for taking down the most fliers — 200 during a Monday shift.
One of the most visible Partners jobs is conducting traffic when there is an accident.
"When it's raining, when it's freezing cold, they are standing out there in their reflective jackets," Biskup said.
As a general rule, volunteers usually stick around for two to three years, Biskup said. But the "family" atmosphere of the partners leads to volunteers staying for many more years, she said.
Reilly and Jolley are prime examples of that dedication, she said.
"Most employees don't stay with the job that many years. I always tell everyone, 'We've been together longer than most people are married," she said.
Jolley managed the Sunset Theater in Lodi for 14 years from 1967 to 1981 and also held many managment jobs throughout the valley. Shortly after Jolley joined the Partners, her husband, Eugene, died, so she dedicated a lot of time to the program, Biskup said.
"(Jolley) was just a very kind and quiet woman. She pitched in wherever she could," Biskup said.
Reilly was an active volunteer in the community working for a variety of nonprofits. For over 30 years, she was an active board member of Hanot Foundation, a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults.
In 2005, Reilly was named the Lodi Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
If people volunteer with one organization, Biskup said they are often willing and eager to volunteer with multiple organizations.
"People who are going to give, have a heart for giving. They are community people and they want to help," she said.