by Mike Morais
Many Ripon residents may know that our little town is home to one of the greatest police departments around as well as the Central Valley branch of
Ripon Fitness, Ability Mortgage among other businesses. According to Gina Swankie, a Public Affairs Specialist for the FBI, the Ripon location replaces offices that were formerly in Stockton and Modesto. The new location will be known as the Stockton Resident Agency of the FBI. Swankie told me that the agents in the local office will be in charge of investigating “the same violations of federal law the FBI investigates as a whole and share the same mission, vision and values”; that mission, according to the FBI’s website is “To protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.” Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties will all fall under the office’s jurisdiction.
I wanted to find out how our police department felt about the agency moving into Ripon so I asked Lieutenant Steve Merchant. Lieutenant Merchant said “Having more law enforcement professionals working in Ripon, available for technical assistance or in case of an emergency is always a good thing!” When asked how often the Ripon Police Department worked with the FBI Merchant told me that the agencies do collaborate occasionally but “luckily our crime is still pretty low in Ripon.”
While the office is not open to the public citizens may contact the field office by calling (916) 746-7400 to set up appointments or share tips on open cases. Tips may also be submitted at tips.fbi.gov. You can also follow the local office’s twitter by searching @FBISacramento.
About the author: Mike Morais lived in Ripon until he was 18 and then moved to Chico for college. He graduated with a degree in English, married his wife and recently moved back to Ripon at the end of 2016.