With a prison warden for a mother and a correctional counselor as a father, staying on the straight and narrow may not have been much of a choice for Cypress’ newest police officer, Cody Hense.
Not so, his parents say.
It was his character, not their professions, that prompted him to make good choices and seek out a career in law enforcement.
“He’s always been the type of kid who did the right thing,” said William Hense, a retired correctional officer with the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran. “He’s a leader. He’s never idle.”
Hense was one of 35 officers to graduate from the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center on Sept. 19, and was sworn in with the Cypress Police Department the same day.
“This is going to be a challenge, but rewarding,” Hense said. “I’m going to help the community, and that’s just extremely important to me.”
Hense, a former CrossFit instructor and graduate of Cal State Long Beach, said he hopes to one day serve as a school resource officer to help youth make positive life choices.
“I hope I can help people change … before they get affected,” he said. “I personally hope I can have an impact on young lives.”
Hense started with Cypress on Monday, and will start patrolling city streets in about two weeks, said Police Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley.
“Cody really represents the resilience and leadership necessary for a career in law enforcement,” she said. “We are very proud of him … and we’re excited to welcome him to the family.”
Hense displayed just how resilient he can be during week 15 of the academy.
On his way home from a shooting exercise, Hense was driving southbound on the 55 Freeway near MacArthur Boulevard when a rogue trash can bounded across the freeway lanes.
The driver in the lane next to Hense sharply swerved to avoid the hazard, forcing Hense to yank the wheel to avoid a collision.
The maneuver sent him spinning into the center divider.
Hense suffered a concussion and a banged-up knee, but that didn’t keep him from waking up at 4 a.m. the next day to ensure he could report for duty at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center by 6:20 a.m.
His instructors sent him home to recover from the accident, and assured him the academy would be waiting for his return, Hense said.
Despite the physical setback, Hense never considered quitting.
“I thought of all the other recruits,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave them behind.”
His commitment to the program further solidified Cypress’ confidence in their newest officer, Gomez-Whiteley said.
“That is just really emblematic of who he is as a person,” she said. “At the police department, we hire for character and train for policing.”