Santa Ana Police Open House, Hiring Expo gives public a chance to meet the officers and learn more


It’s often said that the public and police often meet in the worst of times and circumstances.

So, it’s especially valuable when the opportunity comes to meet, engage, and learn from each other in a non-emergency or criminal setting.

That’s why Santa Ana Police Department Corporal Jorge Arroyo is enthused about the department’s upcoming Open House and Hiring Expo.

The Open House allows officers and police personnel to engage with the community on a personal level, Arroyo says.

“It’s strictly a positive way to show who we are,” he said.

After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Ana Police Department resumes its annual Open House and Hiring Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 24, when the department opens its doors at 60 Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana.

And if any qualified candidates interested in starting or furthering their careers in law enforcement want to attend and apply, Arroyo says, “We are actively looking for candidates. We’ll take their applications.”

The Santa Ana Police Department is inviting everyone and anyone interested to come down and check out its digs.

Since Police Chief David Valentin launched his Community First initiative earlier this year, one major prong has been to continue improving community relationships. Events such as the Open House are central to that mission.

Among the activities at the Open House will be tours of the station, information booths, demonstrations, and a photo booth.

“We’ll be showcasing a number of units,” Arroyo said.

These will include the SWAT unit and some of its equipment and vehicles, the Gang Unit, and the MET (Major Enforcement Team), which has been busy taking illegal guns off the streets and busting gambling houses. Also on hand, and always popular, will be the K9 units.

Arroyo said different units will make individual presentations and demonstrations.

Another group with whom people can interact are the department’s cadets, who can introduce youngsters to a potential path to police work.

Arroyo said putting personal faces on police and having personal interactions is important. Residents may be pleased and happy to learn that a number of the members of the Santa Ana Police Department, like Arroyo, are Santa Ana born and bred.

Arroyo spent four years in the U.S. Army, and couldn’t wait to come home and serve his hometown.

“We are a part of the community,” Arroyo said.

The Hiring Expo is a part of an ongoing effort to fill the department with the best personnel.

Although, like many police departments, Santa Ana has been affected by the downturn in recruits and uptick in people leaving police work, Arroyo said the department remains in an enviable position.

“Thankfully, we’re not hurting like some other departments,” Arroyo said. “We’re blessed.”

The department’s strong reputation for its policies and practices makes it a popular destination for lateral transfers and top applicants, Arroyo said.

During the day there will be presentations on how to become an officer that will walk attendees through the entire process from exams, to physical training, to background interviews and the academy experience.

The idea, Arroyo said, is that “getting to know us may make a difference.”

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