Image of City Manager Joe Lopez

City Manager's Blog

Aug 20

Forward Together – An Opportunity to Learn and Grow Together

Posted on August 20, 2021 at 2:06 PM by Marc Garcia

The Forward Together Work Group is a place where diverse viewpoints can be shared and community members are encouraged to work together to find common ground for how policing in Modesto is accomplished. 

Members of the Work Group met for the first time on July 20 and have begun the important work of building a strong, collaborative team. 

While this week’s Work Group meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and out of an abundance of caution, the important work of this group is scheduled to continue through the end of this year, and beyond. 

We invite all residents to participate in the Work Group’s monthly meetings and learn alongside members of the Work Group to better understand the Police Department’s policies, procedures and how they interact with the criminal justice system to drive down crime and keep the community safe.

Mark Your Calendar

Below is a list of upcoming meeting dates through the end of the year and an overview of learning session topics to be discussed. Meetings will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. on the dates listed below.

Work Group Meeting Dates 

    Monday, September 20

    Monday, October 18

    Monday, November 15 

    Monday, December 20 

Learning Session Topics

    Police policies and procedures

    Alternative police response models


    Other – There may be additional topics scheduled that are identified and determined by members of the Work Group

Meeting locations may vary and are subject to change based on space availability and COVID-19 precautions. However, all meetings of the Work Group will be live-streamed on YouTube and/or available via Zoom, so that participants may join remotely, if they prefer. 

Other Ways to Provide Feedback

    Email Us:

    Submit Online:

    Leave a Voicemail: 209-577-6400

Learn More:

Aug 13

Leadership To Move Us Forward

Posted on August 13, 2021 at 2:09 PM by Marc Garcia

By now, you’ve probably heard the good news. Assistant Chief Brandon Gillespie is going to be our next Chief of Police. Brandon’s promotion is one of many positive steps forward in improving safety in our community.

Continue Reading...

Aug 06

Ceres Fire and Modesto Fire Become One (Featuring Chief Alan Ernst)

Posted on August 6, 2021 at 2:40 PM by Marc Garcia

image of modesto fire and ceres fire trucks

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the City of Ceres’ fire protection services officially merged with the City of Modesto’s Fire Department to provide a regional approach to fire response.

Through a joint services agreement, Modesto Fire now provides the following services within Ceres’ jurisdictional boundaries: 

    Fire protection, prevention and suppression services.

    Emergency medical response.

    Emergency preparedness.

    Mitigation of incidents with hazardous materials.

    Special operations including, but are not limited to, confined space rescue, technical rescue and water rescue.

“Regionalization is truly government at its best! This contract for service agreement is a true partnership between the cities of Ceres and Modesto that will improve public safety and realize fiscal efficiencies,” stated Modesto Fire Chief Alan Ernst. “We are honored to serve the communities of Ceres, Modesto, Oakdale, and the Oakdale Fire Protection District.”  

Modesto now oversees all administrative functions of the department, including payroll and other employee benefits. The combined fire staff will continue to operate out of the three Ceres fire stations and use the same equipment with the Ceres logo. Under the new agreement, and for the first time, the Ceres community will have access to paramedics trained in advanced life support and staff with more technical rescue skills.

This partnership is an innovative and cost-effective approach to regional fire services. The continued regionalization model allows for the operational efficiencies of firefighters working under the same operating procedures, command structure, and training program. This approach saves money and reduces duplicative services and administrative redundancies. These efficiencies will allow the City of Ceres to have more firefighters on the street and increase EMS services by adding a paramedic to one of their fire engines.

Modesto and Ceres City Councils both approved the new, five-year agreement, which will be effective from August 3, 2021, through June 30, 2026, with the option of an additional two-year extension after that.

On Tuesday, the cities of Modesto and Ceres held a ribbon cutting event at Station 15 in Ceres to celebrate the agreement and new partnership.image of modesto fire dept ribbon cutting ceremony