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Lodi gets new police officers thanks to federal grant

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Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:00 am

Two new Lodi police officers were sworn in Tuesday, courtesy of a federal stimulus grant.

Both officers, who have nearly seven years of law enforcement experience between them, are the first officers Lodi has hired in 16 months.

Kevin Brown and Michael Mantzouranis bring the force to 71 sworn officers, said Capt. Gary Benincasa. The department has frozen seven other positions to avoid layoffs, as well as seven civilian positions.

The officers, both former Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies, received their badges Tuesday during a ceremony that concluded with an oath of office administered by Judge David P. Warner.

The positions are funded partially through a federal grant secured by Sen. Barbara Boxer, which she announced in September at a ceremony with four San Joaquin County law enforcement departments. Federal money pays most of the first three years of salary, with the departments agreeing to pay the fourth year.

By then, the departments hope the economy will have turned around. Additionally, other officers will have retired by that point.

Brown, 30, has a wife and three children, so it was not good news when Sacramento County laid him off after a year-and-a-half on the job. He then spent the rest of the year working as an on-call deputy, meaning that he did make a living but had no benefits.

He had attended Sacramento and Elk Grove high schools, then went to Cosumnes River College. He'd looked into Lodi's police force and even went on a ride-along, but then Sacramento offered him a job.

A sports fan who has also worked in youth ministries, Brown said he's always liked Lodi.

Mantzouranis, 29, spent the past five years working in Sacramento. He was not among the many laid off by the sheriff's department, but he said he jumped at the chance when he saw an opening with Lodi's police department.

He attended elementary schools in Lodi, graduated from Galt High School and was married at Bethel Open Bible Church, so he knows the community well.

He went to San Joaquin Delta College and was halfway through the police academy when Sacramento County offered him a job, which included their own paid academy.

He and his wife have two children.

Both officers will go through a probationary period, which includes working with a field training officer to learn Lodi's procedures and geography.

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 5:04 pm on Tue, Feb 23, 2010.


    Very glad to see new officers that are more mature and experienced than many of the previous new ones, that has been a concern for me.

  • posted at 9:07 am on Sat, Feb 20, 2010.


    Welcome new police officers. Glad to have you here to honorably serve and protect.

  • posted at 5:29 am on Sat, Feb 20, 2010.


    More cops, less crime. It's gotta be good. Now if we can just get this dumb state to stop the prison revolving door.

  • posted at 3:06 pm on Fri, Feb 19, 2010.


    We welcome the new officers. With all the gangs and violence this town has.....we need them.

  • posted at 10:22 am on Thu, Feb 18, 2010.


    if we can't pay for it ourselves, why... in real life if you don't have the money to spend, uh, you don't spend what you don't have. what makes some believe that charging our children for what we want today is acceptable. cut taxes, cut spending. vote the progressives out of office. they're on both sides of the isle. fdr gave us the raw deal. i wonder what they'll name this awful mess those in dc have gotten us into at this time. lose the unions while we're at it. they had a place and time. the people have found they're ability to speak for themselves without having to have the unions speak for them. lets get back to using common sense. lets be responsible.

  • posted at 7:05 am on Thu, Feb 18, 2010.


    Dude has never used the name Kojak anywhere....Where does this come from?Dude has always been Dude never any other name....Pressureson must think there is only one person that can see through the BS she posts on this sight!Wrong!!!!

  • posted at 3:22 am on Thu, Feb 18, 2010.


    Good point, Lodian about education. But at lease hiring a couple officers is a step in the right direction. Hopefully education concerns will follow. We can always hope.

  • posted at 4:56 pm on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Welcome new officers!

  • posted at 4:55 pm on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    pooreastside wrote on Feb 17, 2010 8:48 AM "Grant money spent wisely for a change. You can sink all the money you want in schools, etc. but who is going to keep you safe in order for your kids to attend?????"pooreastside: I guess it's the chicken or the egg thing here. If we don't think of the kids and schools, putting them somewhere around the top of that list then where will the next intelligent police officers come from exactly?

  • posted at 4:50 pm on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Dude, I liked you better when you were Kojak, with that thing you were sucking in your mouth. Oh, and Kojak was intelligent, while dude is left behind in that area.

  • posted at 4:12 pm on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Welcome new officers...the best to you...glad to have you here.

  • posted at 2:49 pm on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    I am glad there are two more on our side of the law. Congrats Mike!!

  • posted at 10:44 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    unfit parents, huge divorce rate, economic status...and probably the biggest reason there are gangs..is RACISM...fix these problems....then there is a way for anyone to fix this "gang problem"...dumb people expect the police to rid them of all of society's problems...but they cant....You do something about gangs...see what You can do..

  • posted at 10:36 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    GAIL1.....what makes you think that gangs are a Police problem?....they can control them...try to break them up...GANGS are societal problems...Name one police department that is good at baby-sittin?....Gangbangerz or wanna-bez....are bunch of out of line KIDZ...whose family structure wasn't probably strong enough to teach them right from wrong....

  • posted at 8:32 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Oh yeah, for the two cops....good luck on the "mean streets" of Mayberry....oops, I mean Lodi......

  • posted at 8:30 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Pre$$ure$on......Prohibition (for alchohol) ended in 1933.........you would be a great dictator...always seem very sure of whats best for other people, and anything that falls outside your comfort zone is definately evil and should be stopped immediately.You must be a Republican!And at least 70 years old if not more...The ideals I have seen you espouse here in these forums are from a different time, also it's obvious you are retired....who else has the time to Blog endlessly on the LNS site?Wake up and smell the 21st century...it's not all that bad!

  • posted at 7:23 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    That should have been at least 2 gang intervention/prevention counselors. Merely going to school to talk to 5th $ 6th graders about gangbanging accomplishes very little since they are exposed to the gang life in the 4th, and some even the 3rd grade. When is Lodi going to create some kind of gang intervention program run by the successful men and women who have straightened their own lives out and who have been there and done that? Those are the people that the youths headed in the wrong direction will listen to, not an intimidating police officer with a badge and a pistol strapped to his side. Maybe the CHP, Sheriff and LPD could set up DUI checkpoints at events like the one this past weekend and fund a non-profit group with a % of all DUI citations. I'd like to see the statistics on DUI's this past weekend with 5000 wine tasters. Or were there any at all? I bet there were a lot of free rides back to the motel rooms and residences. That seems to be an ex-chief Hansen tradition, I am opining. Welcome new officers, hope you can crack the local pecking order in LPD.

  • posted at 6:50 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    "Let's look at the glass as half full. We are very fortunate to have more officers. Many cities have lost officers and have high crime rates. Yes, education is very important and we need to fight for this as well. Lets be thankful for what we do have, it can always be worse. To the new officers congratulations, and welcome to Lodi."

  • posted at 2:53 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Interesting news this morning in Lodi........less teachers........more police officers. Seems an odd direction for a small town to be going.

  • posted at 2:49 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Two more officers can make a difference. It can mean a few minutes quicker response time which can save a life. Hello!!!

  • posted at 2:48 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Grant money spent wisely for a change. You can sink all the money you want in schools, etc. but who is going to keep you safe in order for your kids to attend?????

  • posted at 1:52 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    how about putting the money in the school dist. I haven't seen a change in lodi when it comes to crime. the gangs are still bad. what will two more offices do that lodi can't do with what they have?

  • posted at 1:33 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    t jefferson- that is easily explained when Lodi's top cop (Larry Hanson) is a council member. They are his pets. they eat right out of his hand with never a question about his politics. Silly cops!

  • posted at 12:45 am on Wed, Feb 17, 2010.


    Interesting...why would Lodi hire more officers with federal grant money when they know in 4 years they will not have the money to cover these positions? The government is completely off the rails. The city is broke and some departments are hiring people with blue dollars....amazing.



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