Behind the Badge
In partnership with UCI Staff Assembly, UCIPD hosted its maiden ‘Behind the Badge’ event for faculty and staff. The goal of the program is to continue Chief’s vision of extending outreach efforts to our community so they can acquaint themselves with our department and officers on a deeper level. With roughly a month’s time of planning, Arielle Hinojosa, representing UCI Staff Assembly, partnered with Cedric and Alisa to coordinate the event to ensure its success. While education about our department and staff was at the forefront of the day’s agenda, providing a networking platform was also an immediate benefit to the program. The learning modules were strategically sub-divided into three separate categories: Administration/Investigations, Academy 101, and Patrol Operations. These three topics offered a solid overall representation of our department where community members can grasp the fundamentals of our operations and daily life as a police officer. Unsurprisingly, many attendees were completely fascinated with learning about the inner workings of a police department and the arduous training standards of the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy. Officer Patton and Officer Akingbemi led the Academy 101 module and did a phenomenal job in sharing insights into training and explaining that the high stress environment is deliberately designed to aid them in developing a tolerance because officers will encounter stressful situations in the field. The attendees were truly captivated at the stories which led them to ask many questions about protocols that they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to ask outside of a classroom. It was easy to discern by looking at the attendees that they gained a new level of respect for all members of the police department.
The Chief participated throughout the event and spoke in each of the modules, helping to expand on the talking points of our staff. He shared a brief story about his childhood and the reason he chose to pursue a career in law enforcement, despite initially setting his goals on becoming an architect. Between his humorous stories, he shared his vision for our department, our goals, and our hiring standards - all important talking points to re-assure our community that the UCI Police Department is a highly skilled and professional organization that is here to serve the community in the highest regard. It was clear the event was a tremendous success because participants were already talking about telling their colleagues to encourage them to sign-up for the next event!