The Tustin City Council Chambers was jam-packed Sept. 7 with officers, friends and family to celebrate promotions of three TPD employees and the addition of five new members to the agency.
TPD Chief Charles Celano commented on how much he appreciates joyous occasions like these in the world of law enforcement.
“The reason we’re here today is we have hope,” he said to the audience. “It reminds me that we should always have hope.”
Before beginning the swearing-in ceremony, he shared a TPD recruitment video of all the work the agency does.
“It shows all the cool stuff that we do here at Tustin Police Department,” he said. “We want to protect the community first and foremost. … We want to engage with the community.”
Chief Celano then began the official ceremony by calling up each of the agency’s new hires.
Born in Mission Viejo and raised in Rancho Santa Margarita and Tustin, Renteria graduated from Tustin High School in 2013. She was hired by the Tustin PD as a police recruit in March 2017 and in June 2017, she transferred from the academy to the Records Unit as a police records specialist.
“I’m super grateful to be a part of this department,” she said. “I feel this one is one-of-a-kind.”
Born in Vietnam, Luong grew up in Monrovia and Upland. She graduated from Upland High School in 2008 and attended the University of California, San Diego, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor of science degree in management science.
She worked as a records clerk for San Diego County’s Probation Department and for the San Diego Unified Port District. She was hired by the TPD as a police records specialist in August 2017.
“I would like to thank the chief for this opportunity and also my family for all their support,” she said.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Quezon City, Silvestre-Sim graduated from St. Patrick High School in 1985. Her family came to the United States in 1986. She worked for the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office as a senior clerk for eight years before moving into the information technology field. She graduated in 2012 from Kaplan University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.
In December 2012, she became a certified forensic phlebotomist. She was hired by California Forensic Phlebotomy, serving several Orange County police agencies including TPD. Silvestre-Sim was hired by Tustin PD as a police records specialist in August 2017.
Ruelas was born and raised in Orange and is the youngest of three siblings. His brother is a police officer with Fullerton Police Department and his sister is a police services officer with the Orange Police Department.
Ruelas graduated from Orange High School in 2011 and attended Santiago Canyon and Santa Ana Colleges. He is planning to transfer to a Cal State campus to study for a degree in psychology.
Ruelas was a police explorer at Orange PD and a police cadet at Anaheim PD. As a cadet, Ruelas worked in Records, Traffic, Robbery, Homicide and Gangs.
He was hired by Orange PD as a police recruit, graduating from the Golden West College Police Academy in March 2015. He worked at Orange PD as a police officer for about 18 months and then was hired by Tustin PD in June 2017 as a reserve officer.
Moghadam – aka “Khash” – was born and raised in Iran by his grandparents. At the age of 10, he moved to Italy to live with his mother. Shortly afterward, he moved to Toronto, Canada where he met his father for the first time.
After living with his father for a year, he moved to Las Vegas to live once again with his grandparents. Moghadam graduated from Rancho High School in 2006. He enrolled at the University of Nevada, transferring to the College of Nevada in 2008.
Moghadam married his wife in 2010 and they built a successful online business. But he realized he was missing his calling. Moghadam enrolled in Golden West College Police Academy as a self-sponsored student.
Prior to the March 2016 graduation, he was hired by Alhambra PD. He was hired by Tustin PD in July 2017 as a lateral police officer.
“Everyone here has been so great,” Moghadam said. “Hopefully I can do some good police work here.”
After the swearing-in of the five new hires, Celano called up each of the promotion recipients.
“This is one of the most enjoyable jobs as police chief,” he said.
Promoting to sergeant, Laurich began his law enforcement career in 1997 as an explorer with Brea Police Department. In 1998, he was hired as a police cadet. He joined Tustin PD in 2001 as a ccommunications officer. In 2002, he graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice.
In July 2003, he was promoted to police recruit and he graduated from Golden West College Police Academy in January 2004. Laurich has worked as a patrol officer, a traffic officer, Field Training Officer, Drug Recognition Expert, explorer advisor and a background investigator.
He also serves as a crisis negotiator for SWAT, and teaches part-time at the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy.
Laurich thanked the chief and his wife.
“She’s just been such a great support of mine … she’s amazing,” he said. “I’m just very appreciative of everybody that’s here today.”
Promoting to lieutenant, Arzate was born in Riverside and grew up in Orange County. He graduated from University High School in 1997 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in November 1997.
He reached the rank of sergeant and served in Okinawa and Seoul. He served until July 2002. Arzate attended the Palomar College Police Academy while he was still an active-duty Marine. He was hired by Tustin PD in July 2002 and has worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, Bicycle Patrol Team, Gang Unit detective, Honor Guard, first aid/CPR instructor, Field Training Officer, and Personnel and Training Officer. In 2012, he received his master’s degree in business management from the University of Redlands.
In April 2014, he was promoted to sergeant. He also serves as a Recruit Training Officer at the Golden West College Criminal Police Academy.
“Always has a smile on his face,” Celano commented about Arzate.
Arzate said, “This city and this profession means so much.”
Promoting to captain, Blair was born and raised in Tustin. He graduated from Tustin High School in 1986. He was hired by Tustin PD as a police recruit in March 1989, and graduated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Police Academy in August 1989.
He has worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, General Investigations Detective, Field Training Officer and Gang Unit detective.
Blair attended Santa Ana College and earned an associate of arts degree in June 1999. In July 2003, he was promoted to sergeant. On June 17, 2013, Blair was promoted to lieutenant.
“I’m doing what I’ve dreamed of doing for my career,” Blair said. “Charlie, I won’t let you down. I promise.”