Editor’s note: What are you most proud of? That’s the question we pose to police officers and firefighters in this new regular feature. Billy Phu is a gang unit detective with the Fullerton Police Department. Phu, 28, has been with the agency for about nine years. The former cadet has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, personnel/training officer, use-of-force instructor, firearms instructor and drug recognition expert/instructor.
Billy Phu: “The thing I am most proud of is my family. As a South Vietnamese soldier who fought alongside U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, my grandfather escaped the country with his wife and two children in tow in search of a better life for him and his family after communist troops invaded.
“Enduring countless days and nights lost at sea with little to eat or drink, they found themselves in a refugee camp until they were sponsored by Bill and Dorothy Hodges of Long Beach. Since then, my family has worked tirelessly to achieve the American Dream.
“Today, my grandfather is retired after dedicating nearly 30 years of his career as a social worker with Orange County Social Services. My grandmother retired after a successful career as a business owner and their daughter — my mother — continues to thrive as an entrepreneur who runs one of the most respected salon and spas in the country.
“Achieving a career as a police officer for the City of Fullerton has continued to uphold my grandfather’s original dream of raising a successful and respectable family with a tradition of service to our communities. The pride and respect I carry for my family translates to my career as a law enforcement officer.”