John W. Harris


John W. Harris' family moved to Manteca in 1949.

The 1958 Manteca Union High School graduate began his 32-year career with the San Joaquin Probation Department upon graduation from Sacramento State College in 1963. He shunned promotions along the way in order to continue working with children as a juvenile officer. In 1969, he helped start the department's Olympic Center, a school for court wards not wanted by their home school, as a teacher/counselor. This program is still in existence today and was a forerunner for the San Joaquin County ONE Community School Program.

Harris originated the concept of Police/Probation Community Co-operation Program in 1972. He supervised the Manteca Co-Op for 13 years. The program was recognized in l974 by the California Youth Authority as the most innovated delinquency prevention program in the state.

Harris was elected in 1977 to the Manteca Unified School District Board. He served for 12 years as a school trustee. Harris was a founding member of the Manteca house Counseling Center, Valley Community Counseling Center, and the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.

He was selected to the City Council in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. Harris was a founding member of the successful Altamont Commuter Express Service and is current chairman of the San Joaquin Council of Governments. He was a charter inductee into the Manteca High Hall of Fame in 1989.