Orange Cove secures $2M for police station

City is set to receive state funds early next year to help build a new police department headquarters thanks to advocacy from mayor, efforts of Assemblymember Arambula

Orange Cove Police Department as seen from driveway. (Kenny Goodman)
Serena Bettis
Published December 18, 2023  • 
10:00 am

ORANGE COVE – The city of Orange Cove has received state funding to help with the construction of a new police department headquarters, as the city has outgrown its current location.

District 31 Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula secured $2 million in state general funds for the new police station during the budgeting process this summer. Arambula presented a ceremonial check to the Orange Cove City Council at its meeting on Dec. 13, and said that the funding should become available in the first quarter of 2024.

“Many of our small communities are in need of updating their police stations,” Arambula said. “Because of the size of some of these cities, they lack the funding for the infrastructure or the growth that has occurred within their communities.”

The $2 million will be allocated to Orange Cove by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), according to Section 19.563 of Assembly Bill (AB) 102, “Budget Act of 2023.” The money will come from the state’s general fund, Arambula said, and he anticipates it will be made available to the city within the first three months of 2024. 

“Each year the state of California can make certain general fund expenditures per district request if the budget allows,” Arambula said. “We’re able to help prioritize some of our communities greatest needs, and as a representative I’ve worked with many of my small, rural cities to be able to secure funding for public safety.” 

Arambula credited Orange Cove Mayor Diana Guerra Silva and Mayor pro tem Gilbert Garcia for reaching out to his office to request funding. He said that after touring the police department and meeting with Orange Cove Chief of Police Javier Peña, he agreed that funding for a new department headquarters was a priority for the year. 

In 2022, Arambula helped Fowler secure funding for its new police department and senior center, and has also previously worked with communities like Huron and Firebaugh prior to the change of the 31st district’s boundaries.

At the council meeting, Guerra Silva in turn thanked Arambula for his work representing Orange Cove residents and their needs. 

“I cannot express how thankful I am — and how important it is that we have good communication, because it’s very, very important for that — that you listen to us,” Guerra Silva said. “Not only myself or the council, just the community in itself, because it’s not only my community, it is yours, too, and I really thank you for taking on that responsibility.” 

Arambula said he was happy to work with the city staff and council on “creating a space where the community feels safe.”

“It was a pleasure to work with them; I found the mayor a strong advocate and a powerful spokesperson for Orange Cove and was glad to advocate with them,” Arambula said. “It’s nice when you can do things for a community and help as a representative.”

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter