The Tustin Police Department is welcoming two new officers to its family.
With family members, friends and colleagues looking on during a swearing-in ceremony on Aug. 15, Robert Toth, 28 and Justin Baeza, 31, were sworn into their positions by Tustin PD Chief Stu Greenberg.
“I applied to multiple (agencies) but this is one of the ones I really liked … the values and everything,” said Toth, a 2018 Cal State Fullerton graduate with a degree in business marketing. “Once I got the interview and the process started rolling along, and I met everybody here, I just knew it was going to be a family and somewhere I wanted to work.”
Toth graduated from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, where he played for the Chargers storied football team under legendary Coach Dave White.
“Since I was young, I always wanted to be a cop or a firefighter,” Toth said. “ I decided to become a police officer and just ran with it.”
Baeza also has notable athletic achievements on his resume.
He played baseball at Concordia and was in the minors before shifting gears and taking a job as a sales representative for a Lake Forest company.
Baeza then changed direction again when deciding to pursue a career in law enforcement.
He was hired by Tustin PD in January.
“There are no words for this moment,” Baeza said. “It’s an opportunity … something I’ve been working at for a really long time. Just with the support of my family, I’ve accomplished this and I’m looking forward to serving the City of Tustin. Tustin has a great reputation – great people, family-oriented and serious police work. The opportunity was given to me and now I’m here.”
In a second ceremony that took place later that day in front of a larger crowd at the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy, Toth and Baeza were among the 53 graduates of Basic Academy Class 236, once again taking an oath of office, this one administered by Sheriff Don Barnes.
Chief Greenberg was the keynote speaker for the academy graduation.
“In my opinion, law enforcement is the most honorable profession on the planet, and you 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.
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, Penn.
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.”