Officer Steven Díaz graduated from the Fresno City College Police Academy on Dec. 14, only three days before starting his first day of work at the Clearlake Police Department in northern California.
Díaz was among 30 police cadets graduating from the Basic Police Academy Class #151 during a completion ceremony at the Fresno City College OAB Auditorium.
Díaz, 29, started his new job four hours north of Fresno in Lake County on Dec. 17.
“I was applying everywhere,” said Díaz, adding that representatives from the Clearlake Police Department came down to Fresno to recruit new cadets at the academy.
“They seemed very family oriented, which I liked a lot,” said Díaz of being one of the reasons he decided to applied as well as to accept their job offer.
Díaz, who is single, graduated from Central High School in 2007 and went on to Fresno City College to study criminology before he decided to attend the police academy.
Díaz’ mother Aurora, who lives in Fresno said she is very proud of her oldest son.
During the completion ceremony, Díaz was recognized as the #2 top Academic Student in his class and was also awarded the Officer Larry Vietty Memorial Scholarship.
Officer Diaz was pinned with his badge and sworn in during the ceremony.
“I always wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy,” said Díaz, adding that law enforcement is “something noble to help people.”
He said attending the academy was not what he expected. “But it inspired me to become a better person, help people,” Díaz said, adding than when he starts his family in the future, he would like to be a role model to his children.
“I am so proud. This is the first time we have someone in law enforcement in the family,” said Aurora Díaz after the ceremony. “I couldn’t be prouder. I was in tears watching him up on stage.”
Díaz said he asked the Clearlake Police Chief Andrew White to pin his new badge.
“I wanted the chief to pin me. It was my decision. He drove four and a half hours to be here today and I was like he deserved to pin me. He was the one who gave me this opportunity, he believes in me,” Díaz said.
Aurora Díaz said the entire family is planning to drive north when her son get pinned in front of the Clearlake City Council later on.
On a Facebook post , the Clearkale Police Department wrote “Our newest police Officer Steven Diaz graduated from the 151st Basic Police Academy In Fresno today!”
The post also said “We are excited to have him join our team so that we can better serve our community.”