The Santa Ana Police Department has welcomed three new officers to its ranks.
Officers John Choi, Joseph Lopez and Kevin Reynolds graduated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Training Academy as members of Basic Academy Class 236 in a ceremony held in front of hundreds of family members, supporters and law enforcement personnel at the Tustin facility Aug. 15, 2019.
Choi was honorary Class Sergeant in the class of 53 graduates at the high-stress, six-month academy, where recruits are expected to get through rigorous physical fitness training with a constant demand to perform well in a variety of scenarios.
“This academy tested us mentally and physically,” said Class President Jordan Dorrance, a Santa Monica Police Department recruit. “It pushed each of us to our limits and then beyond that limit. From day one, we have been expected to give everything, all while performing under intense pressure.”
Training for Santa Ana PD’s three recruits focused on force-on-force, less-lethal and non-lethal force options, emergency driver training, search techniques, firearms training, investigations and more.
Recruits were prepared physically and mentally.
Tustin Police Chief Greenberg was the keynote speaker at the academy graduation.
“In my opinion, law enforcement is the most honorable profession on the planet, and you guys should be proud of what you’ve accomplished already,” Greenberg told the graduates. “You join a law enforcement family, and that law enforcement family runs throughout this room, throughout the county, throughout the state, and throughout the nation.”
Greenberg went on to point out the current challenges faced by law enforcement officers including the drug epidemic, homeless crisis and mental health crisis, along with more intense scrutiny by the public and the media than ever before.
“Today’s cops need to be lawyers, mental health workers, domestic counselors, drug and alcohol abuse counselors, and mental professionals,” Greenberg said. “We need to be trained in advance tactics, de-escalation techniques, crisis negotiation, peer support, and the list goes on and on.”
The chief discussed the dangers of the profession and mentioned the recent shooting death of CHP Officer Andre Moye and wounding of six police officers in Philadelphia.
He talked about new laws that seem to favor the criminals over citizens and the police.
But there is a huge upside to the career, Greenberg said.
“We work in a profession that is exciting and fulfilling,” Greenberg said. “We get to help people in their time of need. Occasionally, we get to save lives.”