Blog Posts Tagged ‘city-of-surprise’

Profiles of Arizona Municipal Clerks: Sherry Ann Aguilar, City of Surprise

Sherry Ann Aguilar, MMC
City of Surprise

 Sherry Ann Aguilar, Surprise

How many years have you served as a clerk? 20 years as clerk and with Surprise for 26 years.

Where are you originally from?  Born and raised in Surprise, Arizona

What is the craziest question you have been asked by a resident?  “I am in the Witness Protection Program and I want to vote, but I do not want to give you my physical address, or show you my ID!”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?   The city clerk’s position in any city or town no matter what size, is a central hub that touches every single department in our organization as well as a customer service resource for our residents providing election services, records and passports.  I would have to say that providing these services is the most important and rewarding part of my job.

Surprise 33rd Annual 4th of July Celebration


The City of Surprise invites you to celebrate the 4th of July at the Surprise Recreation Campus-Surprise Stadium at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue on Monday, July 4.

The event will kick off with a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Throughout the game, families can enjoy in-game contests, music and giveaways leading up to a firework spectacular! Parking and admission are free with a canned food donation benefiting the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Concessions will be available for purchase; the stadium food and beverage policy will be in effect.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the game begins at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.

This event will also include a live musical performance by “Nothin’ but a Party Band” at the Surprise 8-Acres Park, next to the Stadium, beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m. The park provides the perfect lawn setting for families to enjoy music and purchase food and beverages, all while offering a great view of the evening’s firework celebration.

For additional event information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000 or visit

Surprise Police volunteer program wins award for outstanding achievement




Recently, the Surprise Police Department’s Volunteer Program won the 2015 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs.

The comprehensive volunteer program consists of citizens participating as members of the Surprise Citizen’s Patrol, Victim Assistance Unit, chaplains, reserve police officers, interns and other volunteers such as those serving in the Records Unit, Training/Recruitment Unit and the Professional Standards Unit.

“The police are the public and the public are the police.” When Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, spoke these words, it is unlikely that even he could have imagined the selfless acts of the Surprise Police Department’s volunteers. The fine men and women that make up the Surprise Police Department’s volunteer program are a true representation of Sir Robert Peel’s words.

The Citizen’s Patrol has grown from 7 volunteers in 1997 to 50 active program participants today. The program was established to assist the Surprise Police Department in responding to the City’s 1000% growth rate over the past 16 years.  Having grown into its role as an integral part of the Department, the Citizen’s Patrol volunteers carry out many operational and administrative functions. In 2014 alone, the volunteers from the Citizen’s Patrol provided 26,483 volunteer hours. That is the equivalent of nearly 13 full-time employees and an estimated cost avoidance of $662,000.

There are very few functions that the Citizen’s Patrol members do not have some involvement in. On any given day, you will likely see numerous volunteers working within the Surprise Police Department; whether it be the day-to-day activities such as going out on patrol, conducting vacation watches and making sure vital police equipment is ready for deployment; or the less common events like traffic control for spring training baseball games, rapid response for emergency incidents and deployment of SWAT vehicles.

The members of the Surprise Citizens Patrol are part of a larger group of auxiliary volunteers here at the Surprise Police Department. These are members of our community who have given up their own time and energy to make their community a safer and better place for all, having done so for over 18 years.  The overall effort of these hardworking volunteers has amounted to more than 280,000 volunteer hours for an estimated cost savings of over $7 million.

While these numbers are substantial, what is even more important is the immeasurable positive impact these volunteers have had on their community. Because of the volunteers, the agency navigated an extremely difficult expansion period with relative ease. As a result, our volunteers, who exist as both citizens and members of the department, also serve as a bridge between the Police Department and the public, further strengthening the agency’s roots within the community and helping to develop trust and cooperation from our residents.

The volunteers in the Victim Assistance Unit provide a continuum of services to support victims of crime and empower them to exercise their rights. Volunteers from this unit assist with obtaining orders of protection, accompanying victims to court, transporting victims for forensic and/or medical examinations, and finding temporary housing for victims in need. In 2014, the volunteers in this unit alone provided an additional 1,245 volunteer hours to assist with some 824 cases and provided direct services to 607 victims.

Our Chaplains always make themselves available for call-outs and respond to assist citizens with grief counselling. They provide timely motivational support for our Department and complete a myriad of other helpful tasks that lend support to our overall mission.

Reserve Police Officers fill in gaps that otherwise might create operational challenges. The unpaid service of these volunteers allows for maximum efficiency in both day-to-day operations as well as during special events.

Interns within the Surprise Police Department fill a wide variety of roles and allow for a direct communication of the Surprise Police Department’s philosophy and mission to educational institutions within our city and partnering communities.

Records Unit volunteers provide additional support for the unit by sorting and filing departmental reports. They also complete time-sensitive data entry projects that allow the Records Unit personnel to continue to meet important deadlines.

Training and Recruitment Unit volunteers routinely donate countless hours conducting background interviews and are deeply rooted in many facets involved in the hiring process with the Surprise Police Department.

The volunteers in the Professional Standards Unit complete interview transcripts and perform a variety of administrative tasks and functions. Their efforts relieve the daily responsibilities placed upon the investigators within the unit and allow for them to focus their own efforts on their assigned administrative investigations.

The members of the Surprise Police Department’s Volunteer Program have truly become an integral part of the DNA that makes up our organization. The support provided by these men and women ultimately plays a key role in the Department’s mission to maintain a safe community by providing extraordinary law enforcement customer service. Their hard work, dedication and exemplary efforts are inspiring and truly deserving of the 2015 IACP Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award.

“Community Begins Here” – 2015 National Public Works Week


You may not always realize it, but your city or town’s public works department is at work all day to keep your life running smoothly. From making sure your recycling is picked up at your curb and the streets are paved for your commute into work; to ensuring that water is always clean when coming out of the tap and street lights are blinking correctly for a safe drive home, a city’s public works department is responsible for many of our day-to-day activities. 

May 17-23 is Public Works Week! This annual events celebrates public works professionals of our Arizona cities and towns who work tirelessly. The National Public Works Week is a celebration of the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. 

Communities across Arizona are taking time to recognize individuals who dedicate services to cities and towns, which include road construction, cleaning and maintenance services, sanitation and recycling, fleet services, and various other community provisions.

The City of Glendale and the City of Surprise both issued proclamations at their recent council meetings to announce their celebration of National Public Works Week and thank those members of their public works departments for their dedication.

NPWW proclamation 5.12.15

City of Glendale issuing a proclamation celebrating National Public Works Week and recognizing those individuals who serve on their public works department