On March 12, 2014 at 2:54 am., Veteran Salinas Police Officers Ken Ellsworth and Tom Larkin were on foot in Sherwood Park looking for a wanted subject who was possibly living in one of the encampments in the park. The officers encountered a woman smoking a cigarette outside of her tent. She asked them to be quiet and said that she was finally able to get her 7 month old daughter to go to sleep. The officers asked if she had any other children with her. Her 8 year old son was asleep in the tent. The woman told officers that she and her children had recently been kicked out of their residence without ample notice. The officers made every effort to find shelter for this family but were unsuccessful. It appeared that no other resource options were available. They called the assistant manager at the Motel 6, 140 Kern Street, Vanessa Salinas, to see if she could help. Vanessa offered to accommodate the family for one night for a reduced rate. Both Officers Ellsworth and Larkin made sure that the family was safe for the evening, split the cost and paid for the motel room themselves. Social service providers were contacted and additional follow up will be conducted.
This morning Officer Jacky Bohn followed up with Val Villapando, the manager of the Motel 6, 140 Kern Street. Mr. Villapando graciously offered to provide one free night of lodging at his motel to this family. Officer Bohn paid for an additional two nights of lodging at the motel. This is a great example of how officers and the business community can come together to help a family in need. We appreciate the effort from everyone involved.