Tustin police volunteer to help needy families

By Jaimee Lynn Fletcher

They stepped back and looked at their handiwork — 245 boxes stacked up on seven wood pallets.

Workers at the Orange County Rescue Mission were impressed, but members of the Tustin Police Department knew they could make a big impact.

Thirteen members dedicated several hours on a recent Saturday to help fill boxes with non-perishables for local needy families.

Shonn Rojas, center, and other members of Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations' community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.  Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC

Shonn Rojas, center, and other members of Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations’ community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.
Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC

“There has been a lot of talk of wanting to get more involved in our community,” said Detective Tom Lomeli, president of the Tustin Police Officers’ Association. “We wanted to find ways that we could help businesses and local people.”

Getting out into the community is an important part of being in law enforcement, Lomeli said.

Tustin police will also be supporting the Kelsey Harris Memorial Cup May 1 to raise funds for Lafora disease and remember Beckman High soccer goalie Kelsey Harris, who died from the disease last April.

Sworn and civilian employees will also be participating in the annual Chili Cook-Off in Old Town Tustin and the American Cancer Association’s Relay for Life at A.G. Currie Middle School, both in June.

Lomeli said Tustin officers are in the planning process for more events dedicated to serving residents in a different way than they do on the job.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we are people, too; we have families, we care,” Lomeli said. “This is our way to show people that we are human.

“We want to get involved to help our community thrive.”

Trish Jansen, and other members of the Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations' community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.  Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC

Trish Jansen, and other members of the Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations’ community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.
Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC

Trish Jansen, left, and Brittany Jensen, of the Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations' community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.  Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC

Trish Jansen, left, and Brittany Jensen, of the Tustin Police Department, package canned goods for the needy as part of the organizations’ community outreach efforts at the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin.
Photo by Carlos Delgado/Behind the Badge OC