Two law enforcement officers with roots in Los Angeles have joined the ranks of the Cypress Police Department.
Officers Jesse Ortiz and David Lira received their badges in a ceremony at the police department on Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Ortiz joins the department from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and Lira was hired after serving with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Cypress Police Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley said Ortiz and Lira are the latest in a string of hires that includes a recruit from the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center.
“Blending new recruits and seasoned officers, such as Ortiz and Lira, helps balance the department,” Gomez-Whiteley said. “We are very excited to have such quality officers with a wide range of experience come to Cypress.“
Ortiz has 10 years of law enforcement experience. Before working for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, he served in the Orange Police Department. He has had a variety of assignments, including SWAT and investigations.
Ortiz has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management from the University of Cincinnati and also has received an advanced Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate.
Ortiz said he wants to be successful in patrol then one day make his way back to investigations. He said he has a particular interest in serving on a narcotics task force.
Ortiz said he pursued a career with the Cypress PD because of its culture.
“The department is very family-based and community-oriented,” he said.
Lira, like Ortiz, said he also joined up with Cypress because of the department’s ideology.
“L.A. was a fast-paced law enforcement environment that didn’t lend itself well to proactive community policing” Lira said. “As an officer in Los Angeles, I was performing reactive police work.
“By moving from LA to a smaller agency like Cypress, I can be more involved in the community.”
Lira has an associate’s degree in liberal arts from East Los Angeles College and a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State Long Beach.
Gomez-Whiteley said Lira also has received a basic POST certificate.
Lira worked for the LAPD for three years, with assignments including the West Los Angeles and Pacific divisions.
Lira said he hopes to one day become a training officer.
“I can bring the experience I have from L.A. and, with Cypress, learn another side of policing to become a training officer,” he said. “I would like to train recruits because you set the foundation for their law enforcement careers.”