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Turlock mayor tapped for presidential commission
Amy Bublak in uniform
Mayor Amy Bublak, who retired as a Modesto Police Officer in 2015, was appointed to the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. She is pictured here in 2010 with Parole Agent J. Lopez (Journal file photo).

Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak will be making an impact on the national conversation on justice and law enforcement with her appointment to the subcommittee of a presidential commission.

Bublak was appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to the Social Problems Working Group, a subcommittee of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. On Oct. 28, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order No. 13896 authorizing and designating the Attorney General to create such a Commission that would explore modern issues affecting law enforcement that most impact the ability of American policing to reduce crime. The launch of the Commission was announced at a ceremony on Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C.

“It is my honor and privilege to serve the President of the United States on this important subcommittee,” Bublak said. “I am passionate about the mission and purpose set forth by President Trump to offer my expertise as a former law enforcement officer and the Mayor of Turlock, California. Public safety is my top priority and I deeply appreciate the president’s efforts to help in understanding the complexity of challenges we face in addressing crime throughout our nation.”

The Commission is made up of 15 working groups, each of which will specialize in a range of topics from social problems impacting public safety, to officer health and wellness, to technology issues and much more. The Commission will principally conduct its study through a series of hearings, panel presentations, field visits, and other public meetings. At these events, the Commission will hear from subject matter experts, public officials, private citizens, and other relevant stakeholders and institutions who can provide valuable insight into these issues.

Bublak, who served more than two decades in law enforcement with the Richmond and Modesto police departments before retiring in 2015, will not only be able to add her perspective as a retired police officer, but also as a mayor of a community that has been struggling recently to retain public safety employees.

“It is an honor to be asked to participate in a subcommittee that can positively impact law enforcement and the challenges they face,” Bublak said.  “I believe my background and experience in law enforcement and city government will add value to the discussions and ultimately the recommendations to the President.

“I have personally dealt with the challenges associated with being a police officer,” Bublak said. “I have seen too many cases of homelessness, addiction and violent crime.  I know the challenges first hand that law enforcement officers face in terms of rules of engagement and putting your life on the line every day for the sake of keeping people safe.  I have a unique ability to offer my experience to this subcommittee.  Further, as Mayor, I know the challenges that cities are facing across California relative to ensuring proper levels of service for our communities and our law enforcement.  Turlock is facing financial crisis just like many other California cities and this puts our citizens as well as law enforcement at risk.”

Bublak also sees her service on the committee as a plus for Turlock residents.

“I will have the ability to join a committee with many experts in a variety of fields and these conversations I believe can help me bring back ideas that can help our Turlock public safety departments as well as help us deal with the pressing issue of homelessness,” she said. “Further, if this administration ultimately decides to create grant funding opportunities for law enforcement and other public safety departments, I will be in an excellent position to help our city.”

The Commissioners, appointed by the attorney general, are urban police chiefs, state prosecutors, county sheriffs, members of rural and tribal law enforcement, federal agents, U.S. attorneys and a state attorney general.

The Commission will meet monthly for the next year and then report its findings to the attorney general, who will submit a final report to the president.

“I am committing my own time and resources to serve this subcommittee and its efforts to create a safer United States and a better and safer city of Turlock,” Bublak said.