Below is in addition to Zack Johnson’s report about the massive promotional ceremony at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Friday afternoon. The information and photographs have been provided by the Sheriff’s Office. So read up on these dedicated officials and learn more about the individuals who patrol this community.
Captain John Williams
John attended the San Joaquin Delta College POST Academy, graduating in May of 1990. He was hired by the Sheriff’s Office June 18, 1990, assigned to the Custody Division. While in Custody, John was assigned to the Main Jail, Honor Farm, Transportation, Classification, Inmate Disciplinary Committee and Custody Administration.
Transferring to Operations in 1999, John was assigned to Patrol, was selected as a Field Training Officer and assisted in coordinating the new Deputy Sheriff training mini-academy. He was transferred to Investigations in 2001. John promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and was assigned to the Custody Division Community Corps and the Patrol Division that same year. While on Patrol, John was assigned to the Sheriff’s Community Car Program (SAFE) and Case Management Unit.
In 2007 John promoted to Lieutenant with continued assignment in the Patrol Division as a Watch Commander, District Commander in charge of the Community Car Program and, most recently, Patrol Administrative Lieutenant. As a Lieutenant, John assisted in the transition of law enforcement services to the Sheriff’s Office of the Parks and Airport. John has also written or assisted in a number of awarded grants resulting in the addition of 34 Deputy Sheriff positions and a regional law enforcement vessel.
During his time as a Sergeant, John returned to college and graduated with Honors receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix in 2007.
John served previously as President of the Sergeants’ Association and is currently the President of the San Joaquin County Law Enforcement Manager’s Association, having served two terms. John was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to the Children’s Services Coordinating Committee serving as 1st Vice Chairman before resigning to attend college. During his 22 year career John has received a number of letters of commendation and recognition from citizens, community groups, law enforcement agencies and other public entities for his service.
John lives in the Lodi area, and is married to Kathy. They have a daughter and a son. While not at work John enjoys travelling by car or boat; photography; gaming with his son; coaching; watching the Oxygen channel with his daughter; and spending time at the gym.
Captain Tom Desmarais
Tom was hired by the Sheriff’s Office January 3, 1989, as a Deputy and after completing the academy was assigned
to the Custody Division. He remained in the Custody Division for the next 7 years, assigned as a Jail Classification Officer for several of them.
In December 1996, Tom was transferred to the Patrol Division. In January 2000, Tom became a Field Training
In August 2002 Tom was transferred to the Investigations Division and assigned to the CASA unit. He became the
department’s first full time Elder Abuse Investigator and paved the way for what is now considered the counties’ top investigative agency for the investigation of elder abuse.
In January 2006 Tom was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Patrol as a Patrol Team
In February 2007 Tom was transferred back to Investigations where he took over supervision of the
In September 2008, Tom was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the Patrol Division as a
District Commander. Over the past three years Tom has managed the Community Car Program, Mountain House
Police Services and worked with Community Development on various use permitting issues. Under Tom’s leadership, the Community Car Program has tripled in size, established a Community Car Special Enforcement
team and now covers nine communities.
In late 2008, Tom established the San Joaquin County Robbery Task Force, which still receives strong support and hosts a large scale multi-agency robbery suppression operation each year during the holiday season.
Tom is currently working with the Stockton Police Department to help establish a county-wide Gang Task Force aimed at reducing gang violence throughout the county.
During his 23 year career, Tom has been awarded many letters of commendation and, additionally; he was selected
as the Italian Athletic Club’s 2005 “Officer of the Year.”
Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Tom served in the United States Air Force as a Military Officer.
Tom lives in Stockton with his wife and two daughters. His wife Natalie is also a Sheriff’s Office employee working as a Correctional Officer for the past 21 years.
Captain Michael Padilla
Mike Padilla was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on February 16, 1986 as a Custodial Officer.
In August of 1987 Mike was promoted to Deputy Sheriff where he served the department as a CTO, a member of the Jail Transition Team, a Patrolman, a Detective and the Public Information Officer.
In April of 1999 Mike was promoted to Sergeant and served as an Internal Affairs Investigator.
In September of 2001 Mike was promoted to Lieutenant where he has served as Lieutenant of the Aviation, Patrol, Detectives, Civil, and Communications Divisions.
Mike is a graduate of Tokay High School in Lodi and attended both Modesto and Delta Junior Colleges. Mike was selected as his Academy Class President, Tracy Rotary Deputy of the Year, American Legion Deputy of the Year, and the American Legion Law and Order Deputy of the Year for Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin
Mike resides in Stockton with his wife Rita (also a Sheriff’s Office employee). They have three daughters and two
Lieutenant Michael Alagna
Michael Alagna began his law enforcement career by attending the Long Beach Reserve Police Academy in 1993. Upon graduation he was a Reserve Police Officer for the City of Long Beach from 1993 to 1994. He then transferred to the La Habra Police Department in Orange County where he was a Custody Officer and Reserve Police Officer from 1994 to 1995.
While working at La Habra Police Department he attended and graduated from the Fullerton College Police Academy.
Shortly after graduating he was hired by the Riverside Police Department as a Police Officer from 1995 to 1999.
He worked Patrol as a Field Training Officer and assisted as a relief helicopter observer in the department’s Air Unit.
Additionally I was part of the University Neighborhood Enhancement Team, which is a collaboration between the
Riverside Police Department and the University of California Riverside Police Department.
From 1999 to 2004 he worked as a Corporate Security Consultant in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area. Additionally, he worked in the field of Executive Protection dealing with assignments for private companies, as well as working with the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of State protecting
In June of 2004 Mike was hired by the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office and assigned to Patrol. Shortly after completing the training program he was assigned as a Field Training Officer for the next two years. In 2007 he was assigned to the Ray Simon Police Academy in Modesto to work as a Recruit Training Officer. Also in 2007 he was transferred to
Investigations assigned to the Agriculture Crimes unit and Robbery/Homicide until 2009.
In June of 2009 Mike was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to Patrol supervising numerous Patrol teams for the next three years. In January of 2012 he was transferred to Unified Court Services/Stockton.
Over the last 19 years in Law Enforcement Mike received two “10851” auto theft recovery awards from the California Highway Patrol; in 2008 he was named the Tracy area Detective of the Year; and he has received over 30 Letters of Commendation and Recognition.
Mike was born and raised in Norwalk California, attended Cerritos College, Long Beach City College, and Fullerton College. He currently resides in Lodi with his wife Sheila and son.
Lieutenant Annette Mondavi
Annette Mondavi was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in March 1988 assigned to the Custody Division as a Deputy Sheriff
and later as a Custody Training Officer. She worked in all areas of the old linear style jail consisting of the Women’s jail, Men’s jail and Honor Farm and later in the new Direct Supervision Jail.
In December 1995 Annette was assigned to the Custody Training Division and qualified as a Rangemaster and Armorer. In July of 1996 she was transferred to the Field Forces Division as a Patrol Deputy. In April of 1998 Annette became part of the Child Abuse Sexual Assault Unit as an Investigator and as an acting Sergeant in the absence of unit supervisor. She was also a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (sniper). In February of 2002 Annette became an Investigator in the Robbery/Homicide Unit and continued to be part of the SWAT Team. In April 2005 Annette was transferred to the Field Forces Division as a Field Training Officer. In January of 2007, she was promoted to Sergeant in the Field Forces. In March of 2008 she was transferred to the Coroner’s Office where she is currently assigned.
Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Annette graduated from the POST Academy. In June 2001, she graduated from Saint Mary’s College of Moraga with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management. During her assignment as an Investigator in the Child Abuse Sexual Assault Unit, her unit was awarded both by the State of California and by San Joaquin County as the
Child Abuse/Sexual Assault Unit of the Year.
In June 2010, she was awarded with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, a certificate from San
Joaquin Co Board of Supervisors, Stockton Chamber of Commerce, CA State Legislature, CA Legislature Assembly, City of Stockton, and House of Representative for graduation of Leadership Stockton Class.
In 2011, Annette was presented with California State Coroner’s Association Manager of the Year Award and is
currently enrolled in the Sherman Block Leadership
Lieutenant James Lenzi
James Lenzi’s career within the Criminal Justice System began in 1999 when he was hired by the Sacramento
County Probation Department as a Probation Assistant. During his time with probation, James was responsible for supervising and counseling minors committed to juvenile hall.
In November of 1999 James was hired by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office as a Correctional Officer. While
working for the Custody Division James received and processed prisoners from law enforcement officers for detention at the county jail. He supervised inmates and cultivated custody, street, and gang intelligence applying Direct Supervision Principles. James became a Deputy Sheriff in September of 2001. He attended and graduated from the Modesto Police
Academy. While working as a Deputy Sheriff, James used the principles of Community Oriented Policing and
Problem Solving to conduct criminal and coroner investigations to apprehend suspects and assist citizens. He developed relationships and partnerships with the community and proposed the department’s adopted Duty Uniform change.
In 2005, James became a Detective for Lathrop Police Services. He investigated a significant number of cases, which included rapes, robberies, homicides, narcotics, gangs, identity theft, child molest, prostitution, and burglary. He organized and supervised sworn officers in several parole sweeps, probation sweeps, search warrants, and other special operations. He was deputized as a Federal Agent working closely with the DEA on surveillance and investigation of major indoor marijuana grows linked to the Chinese Mafia. He authored numerous search warrants and was responsible for
regularly processing complicated crime scenes. James created the Community Impact Team (Street Crimes Unit) in Lathrop; developed and implemented a gang tracking, identifying, and intelligence gathering program; and provided expert court testimony regarding gangs. He was an instructor for several different law enforcement classes provided to the community and other law enforcement officers.
In March of 2008 James was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. As a Sergeant, James supervised severaldifferent Patrol Teams, was in charge of numerous critical incidents and high risk events, wrote the curriculum for the department’s Defensive Tactics program which he was in charge of, trained new Sergeants assigned to Patrol, and
worked as an administrative position with oversight of Case Management.
James was a member of the department’s SWAT Team from February 2003 to May 2012. While on the SWAT Team, he composed the SWAT Team’s Field Manual to include SWAT Team Policy and Procedure, Standard Operating procedure for the Sniper Team, Barricaded Subjects, Vehicle Rescues, Vehicle Assaults, Linear Clears, Hostage Rescues, Downed Officer Rescues, and Active Shooters. He made numerous entries during the services of high risk search warrants; was involved in numerous SWAT responses to barricaded subjects and potential hostage situations; competed in Advanced
SWAT competitions; was a Team Leader and SWAT Commander on pre-planned and suspect initiated events.
He was also responsible for administrative duties such as operational planning and documentation, training planning
and documentation, equipment purchases, assistance in the budget process, and advanced training of operators.
In the year 2007 he received the City of Lathrop Mayor’s Medal of Distinction Award, National Nominee for America’s Most Wanted Heroes Award, SWAT Officer of the Year Award, and the Italian Athletic Club Officer of the
Year for 2007.
He received the Top Cadet Award from the Modesto Police Academy in 2002.
James graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Sacramento State University in 1998 where he also played linebacker for the football team. James lives in Lodi with his wife Erin and their two sons.
Lieutenant Michael Van Grouw
Michael was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on August 8, 1988. After graduation from the Modest Jr. College Police
Academy, he was assigned to the Custody Division working in all of the custody facilities and completing his
tenure in Custody as a Classification Officer.
In November 1996 Michael was transferred to the Patrol Division. During the following two years he worked on
patrol and was assigned to the Sheriff’s Revitalization and Abatement Team.
In July 1998 Michael was assigned to the Vice and Gang Investigation Unit. While working closely with the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control he revitalized the Minor Decoy Program to prevent underage
In January 2002 Michael returned to patrol as a Field Training Officer. During the next four years, he became the coordinator of the training program, assisting in scheduling of new officers as well as supervision and instruction in our patrol orientation program.
In April 2004 Michael was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to patrol. In March 2007 he accepted the additional assignment as the Patrol Field Training Sergeant.
In December 2008 Michael was re-assigned as the Patrol Administrative Sergeant where he was responsible for inventory and purchasing of our patrol equipment, management of all Workers Compensation and injury reports, Reserve Coordinator and many other duties as assigned.
In January 2012 to present, Michael returned to Patrol where he again accepted the position of Patrol Field Training Sergeant while still assisting with administrative duties.
Michael has an AA Degree from Delta College in Business and Supervision. During his career with the office he attended and graduated from the Sherman Block Leadership Institute Class 269 and the San Joaquin County Human Resources Leadership Academy. Michael Lives in Stockton with his wife Peggy and their two sons.
Lieutenant Philip George
Philip George was hired by the Sheriff’s Office March 1, 1986, and attended the Butte Basic Academy. After graduation he was assigned to the Custody Division. While at the Custody Division, Philip was a training officer and spent the majority of the time working in the Main Jail and Honor Farm.
In January of 1991, Philip was transferred to the Patrol Division. In July of 1993, he was transferred to Lathrop Police Services where he was the lead detective until June 2005. He was then transferred to Patrol as a Street Crimes Deputy. Philip was promoted to Sergeant in July 2007 assigned to the Street Crimes Unit. In 2009 he was assigned as the Sergeant for the Community Car program, Community Service Enforcement Team, Abatement Program, Mountain House Policing and Airport Security along with the County Parks program.
Philip has also been a part of the Sheriff’s Office “Peer Support Team” for 10 years. In November 1992, He was selected as a member of the S.W.A.T. Team and became the SWAT Commander in 2007. He has been assigned to the S.W.A.T. team for 20 years.
During his 26 year career he has been awarded thirty letters of Commendation & Appreciation. In 1998 he won the “Top Gun Award” at the California SWAT Championships”. In 1994 he was a member of the San Joaquin County SWAT Team that won the “Grass Valley SWAT Championships.”
He was selected as the Italian Athletic Club’s 1993 “Officer of the Year” and the 2004 South County Manteca Rotary
“Officer of the Year”. In 2005 he was awarded the “SWAT Officer of the Year.”
Philip lives in the French Camp area with his wife Audrey. They have three wonderful sons and a beautiful granddaughter.
Sergeant Rudy Lovato
Rudy Lovato was hired with the Sheriff’s Office Community Corps Program in 1998. He is a graduate of University City High School, attended San Joaquin Delta College and National University on the GI Bill.
He was hired as a Deputy Sheriff Trainee in January 2002 graduating in May and assigned to the Patrol Division. He subsequently served varied assignments on temporary loan to the Coroner and Investigations Divisions. He has also served as a school resource officer with Manteca Unified School District and a gang officer on the
Community Impact Team for Lathrop Polices Services.
His prior assignments include street gang and juvenile vice investigations with the Community Special Enforcement Team, and more recently as a school resource officer at Franklin High School.
Rudy is the recipient of an Excellence of Performance, two team Departmental Commendations, SJC HSA Child
Abuse Prevention & Intervention Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, and California Police Officers’ Association Award of Distinction.
He is a 24 year active and reserve veteran of the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant, with recent service during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraq Freedom. Rudy previously served as an Immigration Enforcement Agent with what was formerly known as the now disbanded US Immigration and Naturalization Service. He has two sons and lives in Stockton.
Sergeant Toby Farnsworth
Toby Farnsworth was hired by the Sheriff’s Office October 22, 2001, after attending the San Joaquin Delta College Peace Officer Academy. Toby was initially assigned to the Patrol Division. He was then transferred to Lathrop Police Servicesw here he served the citizens of Lathrop for approximately 4 ½ years. After completing his tenure in Lathrop, Toby was transferred back to the Patrol Division where he served as a Field Training Officer.
In January of 2009 Toby was transferred to the Boating Safety Unit where he is currently assigned. Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Toby attended San Joaquin Delta College where he received an Associate of Arts Degree.
Toby lives in the Linden Area with his wife Melissa and son.
Sergeant Shelby Oliver
Shelby Oliver started with the Sheriff’s Office in November 1999 as an intern with the Crime Analysis Unit. She continued with the office working in Records and Personnel and Training.
In September of 2001, she attended the Modesto Police Academy and was sworn in as a Deputy Sheriff on March
15, 2002. Shelby was assigned to the Patrol Division and was a Field Training Officer until July of 2006 when she was transferred to the Investigations Division assigned to the Rural Crimes Unit.
Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Shelby attended Stanislaus State University and graduated with a
BA degree in Social Science.
During her career as a Deputy Sheriff, she was received several letters of commendation, and has worked special
assignments. Shelby lives in the Stockton area with her husband Dave, who is also a Sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office, and stepchildren.
Sergeant Randall Johnson
Randy Johnson graduated from the San Joaquin Delta College Police Academy and was hired by the Sheriff’s
Office March 12, 2001, assigned to the Patrol Division.
In March 2003 Randy became a member of the Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit. He worked with his K-9 partner Badjo on
patrol, working multiple special assignments including the security detail during the visit of the president and vice- president. Randy retired from the K-9 unit after the sudden passing of his partner in August of 2009.
In October of 2009, Randy became a member of the San Joaquin County Bomb Squad and works with the team as a Hazardous Device Technician. In November of 2009, he was transferred to Investigations where he has investigated a variety of cases including, burglaries, shootings, and homicides. He has been a valued member of the investigative team tasked with the recent recovery of victim bodies in San Joaquin and surrounding counties.
Randy received his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2010, and will graduate with his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Administration this August 2012. He has also been a part of the Sheriff’s Office Terrorism Liaison Officer Program since 2003, and is currently in the process of being certified with the State of California as a Homeland Security and Terrorism Specialist.
Randy lives in the Stockton area with his wife Molly and their two children.
Sergeant Jody Towers
Jody was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in November 1999 as a Correctional Officer. He worked the Custody Division in various facets until being hired as a Deputy Sheriff in 2001. After graduating from Modesto Police Academy in
2002 he was assigned to the Patrol Division. He worked Field Forces until 2008 when he was then transferred to
the Administrative Court Liaison position where he is currently assigned.
He is a senior member of the Honor Guard where he also assists in coordinating the events where Honor Guard is
Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Jody attended Long Beach State University and graduated with a BA
Degree in Deviance and Social Control.
He currently resides in the Linden area with his wife, Lisa, and four children.
Sergeant Tim Ballard
Tim was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in January of 1991 and attended the Modesto Basic Academy. After
graduation he was assigned to the Custody Division. Tim began his career working at the old men’s jail before the
New Jail was opened. While in the Custody Division, Tim was a Training Officer, Transportation Officer and spent
several years working as a Classification Officer.
In 2000, Tim was transferred to the Patrol Division. Shortly after completion of the Field Training program Tim
became a Field Training Officer himself serving in that capacity until 2008. In October of 2008 Tim was
transferred to the Investigations Division assigned to the Child Abuse Sexual Assault Unit. Tim spent
approximately (3 ½) years in the CASA Unit. Tim was recently transferred to the Persons Unit in Investigations.
Tim lives in Calaveras County where he and his wife Dawnelle raised their daughter and two sons. Tim enjoys
spending his free time with family and his granddaughter
Sergeant Paul Mears
Paul was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on February 23, 1990, and attended the Butte Basic Academy. After graduation, he was assigned to the Custody Division working at all of the custody facilities; the old jail, the honor farm, the women’s jail, and the new direct supervision jail.
In April of 1999, Paul was transferred to the Patrol Division. In November of 2001, Paul became a Field
Training Officer and worked in this capacity until 2006 when he was transferred to Investigations in the C.A.S.A. unit, (Child Abuse and Sexual Assault). While in C.A.S.A., Paul was also tasked with keeping track of the sexual assault registrants in San Joaquin County. In 2008, Paul was assigned to the Investigations Persons Unit where he currently works.
During Paul’s 22 year career, he has been awarded numerous letters of commendation, selected in 2003 as the Tracy American legion Post 172 “Officer of the year”and Manteca Rotary 2010 “Officer of the Year, (Don Asher
Paul lives in the Glencoe area with his wife Marilyn and their son.
Dareen Gessell, Chief Duty Public Administrator
Darren Gessell was hired by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office July 5, 1999, to work as a P.A. Aide in the Public Administrator Division.
In October of 2000, Darren was promoted to the position of Deputy Public Administrator.
In 2010, Darren was selected to participate in and graduated from the Leadership Stockton Program. He is currently a certified member of the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Conservators and Public Guardians.
Prior to being hired by the Sheriffs Office, Darren attended Humphreys College and worked as a probate specialist in the private sector for five years. During Darren’s 13 year career with the Sheriffs Office he has worked exclusively in the Public Administrator Division.
Darren lives in the Acampo Area with his wife Michelle and their one son and four daughters.
Deputy Sheriff Gloria Garcia
Gloria was raised in Redwood City and attended Sequoia High School. She graduated from Heald College in 2005 with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Gloria has been with the Sheriff’s Office for seven years. She started part-time in the Records Division, and in 2007 transferred to Patrol as a Senior Office Assistant. While working full-time, Gloria also attended the Delta College Police Academy, graduating in 2009. Gloria has served as a reserve deputy for over one year.
She lives in Oakdale with her two teenage sons.
In her free time, Gloria enjoys bike riding, gardening and reading.