Students explore career options in public safety

PUBLIC SAFETY—Anaheim Police Officer Madrick, Jansen, Cripps and ELAC Students,
Alvin Chau and Frank Rodriguez at the Administration of Justice Public Safety Career Fair on
Wednesday. Anaheim Police Officer Jansen shakes Chau’s hand after informing him on how to
get started with the Anaheim Police Department. CN/Jaime De Haro

By Jaime De Haro

The Administration of Justice Department hosted a Public Safety Career Fair on April 17 and offered students the opportunity interested in the field to learn about career options.

The event took place in the quad between E3 and E7 at East Los Angeles College where six public safety employers provided detailed information on pursuing or furthering a career in the field.

Those in attendance were the Los Angeles Police Department, Montebello Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Fire and Emergency Medical Technician Agencies, U.S. Secret Service and the California Department of Corrections and Rehab.

Students had the opportunity to explore several departments, their specific programs and what they entail.

Danna Villareal, a forensic science student at ELAC, said she felt she could take advantage of opportunities through the event. 

“The event helps me get a clear view of what this field entails and what the demands are,” Villareal said.

Students interested in joining the U.S. Forest Service were also allowed to try on gear and test equipment used during the training process, such as helmets, weighted backpacks, turnout coats and axes. 

Anthony Claustro, executive director for the U.S. Forest Services, said that students should take as many classes as their college offers. He said he recommends that students should meet with a counselor so they can receive guidance on courses they need. 

“Take advantage of every aspect of the learning process from each instructor so you can take that knowledge and apply it in the field whenever you’re ready. Don’t limit yourself to a specific department and always branch out, that way you have more opportunities,” Claustro said.

Public Information Officer Marco Lizarraga and Captain Jose Nuñez, informed students about the application process and its challenges.

“One of the challenges is transitioning from a college environment into law enforcement. They may be receiving an education, but if they’re exposed to an environment of recreational drugs, it may disqualify them.

“Another thing is work tradition. If they go to a job for two months, quit, go to another job for six months, and then quit, there’s no consistency. So for a long-term employer such as law enforcement, we look for consistency, not someone who is a hit-and-miss,” Nuñez said.

First-Year Experience, the Basic Needs Department, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and Financial Aid Department were also present, providing information for current, returning or incoming students.

Students were also allowed to get ahold of giveaway items like stickers, keychains, lanyards, pens and bottle sleeves from various public safety officers.

For more information on the Administration of Justice Department at ELAC, you can find their page on the ELAC website. 

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