Sergeant Manuel (Nel) Garcia

m1garcia@ucsd.edu | 858-822-1130 | UC San Diego Police

Sergeant & Coordinator of the Community Service Officer Program

The Community Service Officer (CSO) program is not just a student job. Aside from the competitive pay and mentoring, CSOs are offered many perks not usually provided to employees of the University. CSOs have weekly workouts, team building events off campus, home cooked meals at training meetings, and monthly birthday celebrations just to name a few.

Q: How do student workers impact your department? A: Students provide safety escorts, operate Triton Rides, monitor campus events and supplement security needs on campus. They serve as a bridge between the Law Enforcement aspect of our department and the UC San Diego community. They assist officers in various arenas to allow officers to be more efficient in their primary duties.

Q: What can students gain from working in your department? A: Discipline, training, leadership skills and customer service skills. For the students who are accepting of mentoring, I work very hard to train CSOs to be competitive when looking and starting careers after graduation.

Q: What do students learn while working in your department? A: Students take an active role in running the program and enabling it to grow while still maintaining a high level of service to the community. Many of the skills learned through the program will carry them beyond working for a police department. It also allows students to observe law
enforcement from a different perspective. Some of the training provided include: Defensive tactics, radio procedures, bike, driver awareness and safety, 1st aid/CPR and traffic control.

Q: Does your department offer any special opportunities for students? A: Students who perform well are encouraged to become full-time members of the department following graduation. Within the CSO program, students can train for positions like dispatcher or Officer in Charge (OIC) which is a leadership position.

Q: When hiring, what kind of experience or skills and qualifications are you looking for? A: I don’t look for any particular skills or past experience. Integrity and commitment are key characteristics that I do look for. Students will learn the skills needed for the job through the various trainings we provide.

Final Advice? Learn as much as you can from people who are truly dedicated to their work and show dedication through action rather than words.

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 Issue of the Triton Worker. 

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