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Lodi Community Hall of Fame Jeanie Biskup nominated for contributions to government

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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:00 am

Jeanie Biskup has always enjoyed challenges. She was drawn to law enforcement because her father worked in the field, and she had a desire to make a difference in the community. So in 1987, she began working for the Lodi Police Department as a civilian community service officer. She has served in various capacities for over 25 years.

“It’s the one field where, day in and day out, there is always something different,” she said.

For her contributions to government, Biskup was inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame.

Biskup was one of the first community service officers in Lodi to go out on patrol. She handled all abandoned vehicles and burglary reports.

From there, she went into crime prevention and then helped to build the National Night Out program. At its high point in the early 1990s, there were 187 Neighborhood Watch groups in Lodi.

Biskup says the program has been beneficial because it gives people a chance to get to know each other.

“We live so much inside now. The days of being out front sitting on the front porch are gone. This brings them out and helps re-establish their commitment to look out for each other,” she said.

Biskup had always been interested in working with volunteers, so when the idea came up about beginning a police volunteer program, she expressed her interest to then-Lodi Police Chief Larry Hansen.

“He told me to run with it, and so I did. For me, it was really exciting,” she said.

In December 1993, Biskup became the supervisor of the Police Partners program. She was the primary instructor of the program’s first two-week academy, which had a class of 17 members. She continued to help the program grow over the years. To date, more than 250 seniors have been involved.

Hansen, who served as Biskup’s supervisor at the Lodi Police Department, says her hard work ethic and consistency in getting the job done are her best qualities.

“She just really keeps people engaged and motivated and wanting to participate. I think that’s why she deserves (this nomination),” he said.

From directing traffic at events, to searching for lost people, to taking down old garage sale signs, Biskup says everyone in the community benefits from the work Partners volunteers do.

“They are there for the purpose of making everyone’s lives better. That’s their goal,” she said. “They are not in it for the money or gratitude. Volunteers are there because they want to be.”

Throughout her career at the police department, Biskup received numerous awards for her service. Among them are a certificate of appreciation from Gov. Deukmejian in 1990, recognition from the National Association of Town Watch for coordinating National Night Out from 1991 to 2012, Lodi Police Department Employee of the Year in 1994, the Lodi Police Chief’s Service Award for development of the Partners program in 2000, the Lodi Police Department’s Unit Citation Award in 2006 for the Partners program, and recognition by the VIPS State Advocate Network for her volunteer work in Lodi as well as for providing training in other states.

Biskup credits the work of others for her awards. Although she was part of the process, she says such work can’t be done without a group of people. She echoes that sentiment with the Hall of Fame award. “It’s a tremendous honor and it’s an achievement not many get. I know I didn’t get there (by) myself,” she said.

Mark Helms, who nominated Biskup, says she deserves the Hall of Fame award because she was the driving force who pulled the Police Partners program together and made it successful.

“Her steadfast dedication and commitment to the program are essential elements of its success and development over two decades,” he said in the nomination papers.

Biskup graduated from Galt Joint Union High School in 1977. She later graduated from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Academy in 2004. She has been married to her husband Dan for 35 years, and they have one son and one granddaughter.

After retiring from the Lodi Police Department in 2012, Biskup was hired by the Sacramento SPCA, where she serves as the chief operations officer. Although she is enjoying her new role, she said she still feels some separation anxiety from the Lodi Police Department.

“I still say ‘my partners’ and ‘our department.’ After 25 years, you don’t get over that. It was the best ride I can imagine,” she said.

Other inductees this year include Don Womble, who was a teacher and track coach at Lodi schools for more than 60 years, for his contributions to education; Linda Hammons, a volunteer for many organizations, for her contributions to community service; Thomas Sanchez, director of business development for Waste Management, for his contributions to business; and Richard Ling, an active volunteer, for his contributions to community service.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. Inductees will be honored at a dinner and program scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Boys and Girls Club headquarters, 275 Poplar St. near the corner of Stockton Street. Tickets are $50 each. For more information or to make a reservation, call Eddie Cotton at 209-334-2697.

Contact Features Editor Pam Bauserman at pamelab@lodinews.com.

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