San Diego Job Corps Center

Law Enforcement Officials Speak at San Diego Job Corps Center

September 23rd, 2013

“Our Homeland Security Cadets receive extensive training while enrolled at our center,” advised Denelle Reiners, a Career Transition Specialist at the San Diego Job Corps Center.  “They are trained in law enforcement code, inspection, and patrol, which enable them to obtain a California Guard Card.  The cadets are also offered optional certificates involving community response, along with tear gas, baton, and pepper spray training.”  Ms. Reiners continued that there are a lot of opportunities in the law enforcement field, “but I think it’s important that our students actually hear from officers involved in the profession.”

A recent visitor to the Homeland Security class was Chula Vista Police Department Detective Donte Kendricks, who is assigned to the department’s Family Protection Unit.  “I worked with Donte at the University of San Diego,” stated Ms. Reiners, “and was always impressed with his work ethic and his willingness to welcome new challenges and opportunities.”  A nine year veteran of the Chula Vista Police Department, Detective Kendricks is also a defensive tactics instructor for the department and serves on their SWAT Team.  He talked about the challenges and satisfaction he receives from his work, and also shared his background and the obstacles he overcame to become successful.

On September 16th, Border Patrol Community Liaison Agents Michael J. Scappechio, Jason R. Bush, and Daniel Smoak from U.S. Customs and Border Protection also spoke to the Homeland Security Cadets.  They outlined the application process for prospective agents and the different positions available for employment in their agency. Each had different backgrounds entering the Border Patrol Academy and detailed the rigorous academic and physical demands of their six month training program.  Like Detective Hendricks, they talked about the dangers inherent in their jobs, but also the satisfaction they derive from their law enforcement careers.  The officers also emphasized the importance of community support to assist all agencies responsible for Homeland Security.

Twenty-three year old San Diego Job Corps Homeland Security Cadet Denario Tabbs Jr., who is completing his Job Corps training, was especially interested in the information provided by the speakers.   Tabbs is originally from Elk Grove, CA and served four years in the U.S. Navy prior to enrolling in Job Corps. “I come from a military family and have always wanted to pursue a career where I would be protecting members of society,” he stated.  “After listening to the Border Patrol Agents talk about their jobs, I am planning on applying for a position with them.”

 “We appreciate the officers taking the time to speak to our students,” Ms. Reiners stated.  “They were candid about the requirements, responsibilities, and challenges of their jobs, but also very encouraging to the cadets who are interested in law enforcement.” 

Border Patrol Community Liaison Coordinator Scappechio advised he and his colleague enjoyed speaking at the center and offered praise for the Job Corps program.  “To see these young people getting opportunities that otherwise may have never been available, is truly something special,” he stated.  “We look forward to working with Job Corps in the future.”