Sergeant , Santa Cruz County (CA) Sheriff’s Office
I was appointed as Deputy Sheriff with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, California, on March 20, 1987. I was promoted to Sergeant in 2004. I’m due to retire November 16, 2018 after 31 years of service to my community. I worked every bureau and my highlight assignments were: bomb squad, gang investigations, school resource officer, search and rescue, field training officer and field training sergeant.
Mahatma Gandhi said it well: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I did just that! I’ve been a public servant since the mid-1970s. From my days with the Boy Scouts, the fire dept., law enforcement and to one of my favorite community organizations: Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes. My work defined me and made me who I am today!
As my career comes to a close, I was thinking about my most challenging moment physically and mentally at work. The 1989 Loma Prieta-San Francisco earthquake came to mind. Probably the biggest natural disaster I had ever been involved in. I had to leave family behind during their greatest time of need from me. My son was only 2 weeks old. The first 3 days were chaotic and we all worked straight through with no sleep. There was no food or water available and our command post was a used bread truck converted into a command center in front of the county building. To survive, we ate food and drank water from the kindness of people cooking what was left of their food on their front lawns. We had no power for days. We eventually organized, and I ended up on 12 hour shifts for 3 weeks straight with no days off. Greatest moment of my work life!
I will miss the people I worked with side-by-side in the face of danger every shift. I forged lifetime friendships in this business and leaving them behind is truly sad. But I am excited for the next chapter in my life outside of law enforcement. And yes, it involves rolling sushi and bartending part-time to have fun, stay busy, active and social.
Law enforcement was the greatest job I ever had, and I would do it all over again if I could!