Zach Hatch, a Rancho Cordova police officer took the ride of his life on Thursday, with Lt Col. Derek Routt, Thunderbird 7, as our Hometown Hero. The first-ever Airshow “Hometown Heroes” rides are part of Air Force Week in Sacramento, that culminates with the two-day airshow at Mather Airport, Saturday and Sunday.
Hatch, a Folsom resident, was nominated for the honor by Rancho Cordova Mayor Dan Skoglund and others, who noted Hatch’s efforts to steer youth on his Rancho Cordova beat from poor decision-making to positive achievement.
Awarded a Purple Heart for a life-threatening injury sustained after being struck by a drunk driver during a law enforcement traffic stop, Hatch returned to duty committed to changing the lives of youth on his beat. His efforts led him to the successful founding and launch of the Rancho Cordova Police Activities League (PAL).
The PAL engages hundreds of children in activities such as Jr. Giants Baseball and weekend hoops sessions with local police, with the goal of promoting physical fitness and personal responsibility, and especially offering alternatives to gang activity and violence.
Rancho Cordova Police Chief Reuben Meeks said “Officer Hatch has made it a priority to involve youth in positive programs which will build self-esteem, promote educational and physical fitness, and involve them in activities which will promote a positive relationship with law enforcement and deter crime.”
Hatch was at Mather Field, with his family and friends, for the flight. He completed a medical checkup, put on a G-suit, helmet and gloves, then zoomed down the runway at 300mph and spiraled up into the sky, behind Lt Col. Derek Routt, Thunderbird 7.
NewsBlaze Congratulates Officer Hatch, his family and friends and Mayor Skoglund and Police Chief Meeks. Thanks to Executive Director of the Airshow, Darcy Brewer, and thanks to Karen Doron for a well-organized and exciting event. Special thanks to the Air Force, the Thunderbirds and all the ground crew that goes into making a flight like this possible.
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Capital Air Show at Mather Field, California.