Saturday, October 20 , 2018, 9:01 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Guadalupe Police Mark City’s 70th Anniversary With Historic Badge

Seven-point star used in 1946 temporarily replaces more modern oval shield

Guadalupe Director of Public Safety Gary Hoving holds the new seven-point star anniversary badges worn by his Police Department’s members in honor of the city’s 70th anniversary. Pinned on his uniform is the modern oval-shaped badge.
Guadalupe Director of Public Safety Gary Hoving holds the new seven-point star anniversary badges worn by his Police Department’s members in honor of the city’s 70th anniversary. Pinned on his uniform is the modern oval-shaped badge. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Two years after its future as a city remained in doubt, Guadalupe will mark its 70th anniversary of cityhood with the Police Department wearing vintage badges.

Public Safety Director Gary Hoving this week unveiled the seven-point stars officers will wear instead of the modern oval-shaped shield. 

“Quite a few agencies will do an anniversary badge,” he said. “It’s a fitting tribute.”

In keeping with the badges of 1946, the badge uses the old-fashioned term of patrolman, instead of gender-neutral police officer.

“Rather than be concerned about political correctness, we went for historic authenticity,” Hoving said. 

Additionally, patrolman is the title that appeared on the badge of Guadalupe’s only officer killed in the line of duty — Samuel Sanchez, who died in 1969 when his vehicle was struck by a drunken driver.

The officer will be remembered later this year with the dedication of the Officer Samuel Sanchez Memorial Highway along a stretch of Highway 166 east of the city.

The only difference is the anniversary badge has the years 1946 and 2016.

The city of Guadalupe’s new seven-point anniversary police badge includes the years 1946 and 2016. Click to view larger
The city of Guadalupe’s new seven-point anniversary police badge includes the years 1946 and 2016. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Guadalupe became a city Aug. 3, 1946. Two years ago, there were talks about the city needing to disincorporate due to financial woes, eased by voters overwhelmingly approving three ballot measures in November 2014 that added money to city coffers.

At Hoving's suggestion, a city committee will come up with a celebration plan to recognize the city’s milestone at some point.

“It won’t be on the actual date of the anniversary,” Hoving said. “We aren’t worried about that. If we can do a celebration this year to recognize our 70 years of service to the community, that will be a very positive thing.”

One idea is a community block party, Hoving said, adding that it would take a couple of months to plan.

“If we’re going in a positive direction, we should share that positive feeling,” Hoving said. 

“I agree. We can’t let this go by,” Councilman Ariston Julian said.

While 70 years is a great accomplishment, Councilman Jerry Beatty urged the city to start looking toward its diamond jubilee in five years. 

The small department has 10 officers for the city. While there have been talks about contracting with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services, the reality has prompted city leaders to reject the idea as too costly.

There also were concerns about lengthy response times of a deputy coming from elsewhere in the Santa Maria Valley.

The small department serves as a training ground, with officers moving on to other agencies including the Santa Maria Police Department and the UCSB Police Department.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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