RETRACTION: An early version of this article contained an error. The version stated that Officer Jeff Martin said that after completing officer training, getting hired into a highway patrol position often comes down to the last four numbers in a person’s social security number. This was incorrect. The California Highway Patrol does not look at the last four digits of an applicant’s social security number during the hiring process. This version has been corrected.
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the Sacramento State American Criminal Justice Association held a law enforcement career fair in the University Union. California Highway Patrol, the Sac State District Attorney’s Office as well as the Sacramento, Roseville, Winters and Fairfield Police Departments were present to offer opportunities, explain the process and debunk some law enforcement misconceptions.
CHP Public Information Officer and Recruiter Jeff Martin said that due to the downturn in economy right now, getting placed as a highway patrol officer is highly competitive.
“If you’re interested in law enforcement, now is the time to apply because the opportunity won’t always be there,” Martin said. “We are trying to fill the academy right now.”
Along with completing the academy, the process to get into department officer positions is quite long. Roseville PD Community Services Sergeant Jason Bosworth said that the process includes background checks, written competencies, agility tests and panel interviews, and that’s only half of the process that occurs after completing the academy. Bosworth said that just like any employer they, look for consistency and continuity from their applicants.
“Most people should start applying about a year or so before they graduate. If you want to go into this career, you have to make decisions,” said Bosworth.
Whereas CHP may be a bit more competitive, the DA’s office is always needing people to work in the office. Kelly Meis, intern coordinator at the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office said there are 180 attorneys who will get handed anywhere from 10 to 50 cases, so they need a lot of support staff to help with paperwork.
“On television, it is all about the judge, jury and court. That is not the case,” Meis said.
Angelica Mangabay, ACJA president, said they only hold a few meetings open to everyone and then meetings become for members only. Mangabay said that in some meetings they have officials, such as members of the FBI, come speak. Mangabay said students with an interest in law enforcement and criminal justice should find their table during recruitment weeks in the quad, during the beginning of the semester.
“The law enforcement career fair is annual and held in the fall semester, “ said Hector Barrios, ACJA recording secretary.