Santa Ana Police Department’s open house and hiring expo was an opportunity for community members to meet staff and learn more about different SAPD units. The event also offered those interested in applying the opportunity to learn more about the hiring process.
The open house gave attendees an inside look into how their local police department is run.
Booths from different departments lined Boyd Way in front of the Santa Ana Police Department. From the K-9 unit to Crime Scene Investigations to Gang Suppression, each booth offered information on what each department’s job is like and how to get involved.
Children at the event had lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. At the Crime Scene Investigations booth, kids especially enjoyed playing with the fingerprint powder. Attendees also had the opportunity to take photos with a model skeleton and mobile crime lab.
At the Special Weapons and Tactics booth, families could take a picture inside an armored SWAT rescue vehicle. Kids could also take a picture next to a motorcycle, a horse, and with a giraffe stuffed animal dressed in uniform next to a police car.
At the Mounted Unit booth, families had the opportunity to take pictures with one of the horses. Since there were less attendees this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were fewer lines to take pictures. The open house and hiring expo was cancelled last year due to COVID-19. This year, attendees and staff members wore face coverings.
“So, typically we would have people go up, pet the horse, stand next to it and take a picture,” Officer Jaime Lopez said. “We would have a line, same thing with the motorcycle, we would have a line of kids.”
At the Family Justice Center booth, attendees could learn about the services the center offers. The Family Justice Center provides services to survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking as well as sexual assault. At this booth, kids could take home bubble wands.
The event concluded with a K9 demonstration. Officer Ryan Johnson and K9 Kuno first demonstrated obedience and then showed how patrol dogs apprehend violent felons. During the obedience demonstration, Kuno barked in excitement.
“He’s just really excited to work, he’s really happy,” Johnson said during the demonstration.
Maria Roman brought her children, who are fascinated with police and K9s, to the open house. Her kids’ favorite part of the event was the K9 demonstration, when Kuno demonstrated his bark and bite.
Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about the application and testing process to become a member of the Santa Ana police force. Those interested in applying could attend a hiring seminar to get in-depth information on the hiring process and get to meet some of the officers.
Attendee Jeffery Scott Jones was interested in taking advantage of the seminar to get to know the officers he hopes will one day be his colleagues.
“I’m here largely because I want to just talk to lots and lots of cops,” Jones said. “I’m very interested in talking to as many as I can, learning about all the different units they have, especially K9. That’s the one I really want.”
Xiomara Ortiz is waiting to finish college at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona before she applies to the police department. She came to the event excited to learn more about the hiring process.
“I didn’t know anything about the hiring process, background process, like the whole building information. It’s a lot of knowledge,” Ortiz said after going on a tour of the police station.
Nancy Garcia came to the hiring expo to see if she wanted to pursue law enforcement as a long-term career goal. Garcia hoped to learn more about the different units to see where her interests might best align. As a case manager working for a nonprofit, Garcia works with the police department.
“We’ll see where my experience leads me in the field, if I do decide to go through with this,” she said.
Those interested in learning more about getting involved in law enforcement can check out the Santa Ana Police Department website for more information.
Community members can continue to get to know Santa Ana Police Department officers at the next upcoming event, National Night Out, on August 3.