Tustin parking officer powerlifts for the win

By Elysse James

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Tustin Parking Control Officer Estela Silva may be small, but don’t let her size fool you.

Silva is a powerlifting champion, with recent medals from the United States Powerlifting Association competition and the Nevada Police and Fire Games in Las Vegas.

She took second place in her first-ever competition.

“Ever since then I just wanted to keep doing it to see how strong I could get at my weight class,” Silva said.

Estela Silva is an award-winning power lifter and soon-to-be Tustin police officer.
Photo provided by Estela Silva

That was in March 2016.

At the recent Nevada Police and Fire Games, the Tustin police recruit set a state record in her weight class (Silva weighs in at 132 pounds).

Silva squatted 235 pounds, benched 105 pounds, and deadlifted 295 pounds (she’s been known to lift 303 on other occasions).

The deadlift won her the record.

“The best part is, when you’re struggling to get up, you have the whole crowd yelling at you,” Silva said. “That’s probably the best feeling ever to know that you’re struggling and everyone’s just yelling at you. They usually just yell, ‘Up!’”

Estela Silva, a Tustin Police Department Parking Control Officer and weight-lifting competitor, is working hard to get herself prepared for the police academy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

She discovered her strength when she lost about 50 pounds in 2014.

“When I started my weight loss my strength never went away,” Silva said.

Eric Morrow, a powerlifter at Crunch gym, where Silva had worked as a trainer and manager, was the first to encourage her to try weight lifting. Now, he’s cheering her on from the audience at her competitions, along with other women who are participating, she said.

“When I compete, I enjoy that it’s strong females encouraging other ones,” she said. “Even though you’re competing against them in the weight class, they’re actually just encouraging you.”

They’re not the only ones rooting for Silva.

Estela Silva competes in powerlifting. She will soon be attending the police academy with plans to join the Tustin Police Department as a sworn officer.
Photo provided by Estela Silva

She’s got the Tustin Police Department on her side as well.

Silva started working at the Tustin Police Department as a civilian parking officer last December, and she was a Tustin Police Explorer from age 17. Her advisors are the reason Silva wants to work in law enforcement.

“I enjoyed the self-discipline and the structure, and the team effort and all the friends I made,” Silva said of her time as a police Explorer. “(The advisors) are still, to this day, really encouraging.”

Estela Silva, a Tustin Police Department Parking Control Officer, placed second in her weight category for power lifting at the Police Games in Las Vegas.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

As a Tustin Police employee, she put her competitive spirit on display when she and partner Jason Wonser won first place in a department weight-loss competition in January.

The Foothill High graduate is attending the police academy this year and will join the Tustin Police Department’s ranks as a sworn officer upon graduating.

“One of the reasons I wanted to apply here is my family lives here and I grew up here,” Silva said. “What better way to keep my family safe than to work in the city they live in?”

Estela Silva, an award-winning power lifter, works at the Tustin Police Department.
Photo provided by Estela Silva

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