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UC Davis Police Department Trains Graduating Seniors and Graduate Students

By Maria Akhter on November 7, 2017

At UC Davis, the Police Department’s Cadet Academy is the next best thing to a major in law enforcement and creates a direct path to a job after graduation. At least, that’s how eight alumni found themselves working at UC Davis.

Our police leaders have a reason for training students and then hiring them as UC Davis graduates. These eight alumni have experienced student life and know exactly what it’s like to have a bike stolen or need a safe ride home in the middle of the night.

The annual four-month academy provides a rigorous training program for graduating seniors or graduate students with an interest in a career in law enforcement.

The UC Davis academy also provides students with a good start for pursuing more education in criminal law, forensics or federal law enforcement.

Cadets receive broad training on community-focused law enforcement and in diversity, inclusion, respect and equality.

With their background, “home-grown” UC Davis officers are able to work with a population they understand and can form deeper, more meaningful connections with the people they serve.

Opportunities to grow in law enforcement

A number of graduating cadets in the UC Davis police cadet
The first class of UC Davis police cadets — including Catalina Hernandez, front row, center — graduated in 2013. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The department also offers a Police Community Academy open to all students, faculty and community members. Participants get an inside look into what a police officer does. Undergraduates and others who are curious about law enforcement can enroll in this nine-week course. The class covers preliminary training on arrest-search-seizure procedures, evidence processing and fingerprinting, and more.

Other topics include crime prevention, self-defense training and traffic safety training.

Meet three of our alumni officers

Dylan Fakhimi ’14, political science: Dylan is one of the eight officers as hired into the department after undergoing the training.

“It feels like just yesterday when I’d be busy all day doing homework or preparing for a final,” the political science graduate says. “Now I walk around and I see other people going through the same thing — I can connect with them.” He says when he returned to campus after graduating as a law officer, “I felt like I was at home, but I had a different purpose.”

Catalina Hernandez in police uniform on the UC Davis campus
Catalina Hernandez

Catalina Hernandez ’13, sociology, Chicana/o studies: Catalina was one of the top three cadets chosen by the UC Davis Police Department to receive training at the police academy, and then hired as a campus police officer. Her double major in sociology and Chicano/a studies helped her gain a better understanding of issues ranging from inequality, race, criminology and law. Taking part in the academy solidified her desire to pursue a career in law enforcement.

“To me, UC Davis is a very special place,” Catalina says. “It was a great time in my life, so I want to make sure other people can experience that. Because I was a student here, I have that sense of community, too. There’s just a good connection to campus that I have.”

Jose Pinedo ’13, sociology: The first arrest that Jose made was an alleged bike thief. The bike owner was a college friend.

“That’s what helped me love this job even more,” he says. “I was able to help these people I was peers with [as a student]. It was symbolic of, ‘Yes, this is the right place for me.’ I’m able to give back."

The sociology major says he enjoys that he still gets to see professors, employers and friends on campus, and the fact that the job has deepened his connection to the school.


Interested in learning how to get other types of jobs on campus after you graduate? Read “5 Steps for New Grads Looking for Work at UC Davis.”

Maria Akhter ’18, an economics and comparative literature double major, is an intern for UC Davis Strategic Communications.

 

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