The usually reserved Turlock City Councilwoman Amy Bublak becomes a different person when she puts on her Modesto Police uniform. Once she dons her badge, bullet-proof vest and gun, Bublak becomes the epitome of a community peace officer.
She uses her “gift of gab” — as she calls it — to find out what is happening on the streets of Modesto. In doing so, she tracks down criminals and keeps law-abiding citizens safe.
According to the Modesto Police Department awards committee, Officer Bublak’s experience, knowledge and hard work makes her an exceptional officer who greatly impacts the overall success of the crime reduction team. For all these reasons, she was nominated by her fellow officers to receive the Stanislaus Civitan Officer of the Year award.
“It was an easy decision for the Modesto Police Department awards committee to nominate Officer Bublak for this award,” reads a statement by the committee.
Bublak has been in law enforcement for 15 years, four of those years with the Modesto Police Department. Before becoming a police officer, she was an emergency medical technician.
“It comes natural to me,” she said of her commitment to public service.
Bublak has a multi-faceted job at the MPD. She is the department’s liaison to the Modesto Irrigation District and the parole division. When not assisting MID with power thefts and tracking down parolees wanted for violations, she is tasked with drug nuisance abatement.
Drug nuisance abatement — according to Bublak — involves contacting the owners of residences or businesses where drug arrests occur and letting them know that if they do not cease all drug activity, they could face civil penalties.
Officer Bublak, however, is happiest when she is patrolling the streets seeking information on illegal activities. On Thursday, she stopped to chat with at least 12 people who were out walking around or enjoying the cool weather in a west side Modesto park — all while looking for a suspected burglar.
She is well-known in town, which is no surprise, as she considers interacting with people the best part of her job. Bublak has even been given the nickname of “Thundercat” by parolees and her street contacts. She doesn’t know why they refer to her as the title of a 1980s popular cartoon. She said she hasn’t even seen the program.
Strong communication skills are one thing every good police officer should have, Bublak said.
“In my estimation, the person with the best gift of gab and the least ego will get the most done,” she said.
Being the most effective police officer she can be is definitely a goal of Bublak’s — a job she sees herself doing for the foreseeable future.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.