1998 Inductee - Ernest "Ernie" Medina


1998 Inductee - Ernest "Ernie" Medina

Law and Justice

We all want to be important in the lives of people we know. Ernie is important in the lives of thousands, many he has never met. His importance to the City of Stockton was first seen in the police department. He was a police officer from 1956 to 1984.

“I worked patrols, narcotics, vice/intelligence, community relations and street gangs. Eventually I realized if I was to better understand the needs of a changing society and serve the Stockton community to my fullest, I would have to return to school,” states Ernie.

He graduated from Delta College and Cal State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. He attended Cal State Stanislaus to work on a master’s degree in Public Administration. Ernie worked to improve the ethnic balance of the police department. “I worked tirelessly to recruit Mexican-American men and women to careers in law enforcement, even though I was criticized by factions within the Police Association. Later, with the help of Frank Orozco, a civil servant commissioner, we managed to recruit and hire more Mexican-Americans to careers in the Stockton Police Department,” Ernie says with pride.

But while one career was ending, another was beginning. “Having served dutifully for the City of Stockton, and after many years of community service, I was ready to enjoy retirement, grandkids and spend winters at my second home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. While waiting for my wife, Helen, to retire, I got involved with Dr. Guillermo Vicuna, my friend and dentist and the founder of Su Salud, a disease prevention program for the underprivileged.”

“Little did I know that the one day the health fair would turn into a full time job. During my seven years I worked all year getting things ready for our one day event which served thousands of people. Even though Su Salud has a year round center, I continue to help Su Salud produce “To Prevent is To Cure,” which airs on cable TV. My son, Fred, is the producer and director.”

Ernie’s community service was spent with the Coalition of Mexican American Organizations (COMA), the Hispanics for Political Action (HPA), Sister Cities Association, Catholic Charities and the Council for the Spanish Speaking. “In 1987 I was honored by the Mexican American community and named Grand Marshall of the Cinco de Mayo Parade,” he says proudly.

Life goes on for Ernie.

“I am not ready to close the final chapters of my life; instead I look forward to the future. As long as I am able, I will continue to be of service to anyone I can help. I am grateful to all who gave me the opportunity to help them; they have made my life worthwhile.”