When I first moved to Costa Mesa I attended the Costa Mesa Police Department Citizen's Academy.
What a great program. I met many from the CMPD who I have grown to know over the past years. After attending the academy and getting to know those who serve and protect, a spark was lit within me. It was a spark of realization that I had to become part of keeping the city, which I now call home, a great place to live and raise a family.
During my first police ride-along with Officer John Gates, I took on a completely different view and attitude toward the job of law enforcement. I did not grow up in California and my perception (from youth on) of police was one of not being there to help but to enforce and bust a head if needed. The ride-along showed me the compassionate, willing-to-help-others side.
The ride-along created a visible path for me, a path to help others and make a difference. The reason I wrote this story is to pay homage to what many within the CMPD have done for me. The city is now faced with many issues, battles and wedges that have been driven, but I am not here to debate those subjects. I also know there is good and bad within everything, but that is not my point.
You see, I have become a better man, a better neighbor, due to what I have seen and experienced with CMPD. The relationships I have formed within the CMPD over the years have helped me form better relationships within communities.
I have experienced the positive effects of "community policing" and know it is responsible for the foundation on which the CMPD and community relationships are built. I will always stand up for what I believe in and give thanks when due.
I believe we as friends, neighbors and those within City Hall and the Police Department can team together to overcome the hurdles and work to keep Costa Mesa a great city. I give thanks to those in the police and fire departments who put their lives on the line every day for us. I give thanks to those who made it clear to me how important it is to drop life's barriers to help others.
I thank those within the CMPD who helped me become a better man and made my path visible.