FAIRFIELD — Law enforcement officers have always been heroes to Tim Gagnebin – whose focus at 14 is a career in public safety.
“I loved what they did,” the Suisun City teen said of officers. “They helped and protected us.”
Gagnebin, who attends the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy, is the youngest member in the new cadet program of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office.
He and cadet Alexis Lopez were interviewed by Fox 40 News in Sacramento. Lopez told the station she’s still deciding on her career.
Sheriff Thomas Ferrara, who began the cadet program in the office, remembers a ride-along he took part in as a 16-year-old.
“The first night I was in the patrol car, I was hooked,” he said of law enforcement work.
Deputy Jason Veach, primary adviser to the cadet program, said part of its purpose is to let the young participants know the range of work in law enforcement. Dispatchers and evidence technicians are among the jobs besides patrol officers, he noted.
Those who are interested in the cadet program display a range of interests, Veach said.
“The common thing is they want to help and they want to serve,” he said.
The cadet program aims to help teach participants how to succeed in life as well as law enforcement, Veach said. The deputy sheriff said his work involves a range of human behavior where he may respond to one call that shows people at their best, while the next call can display the other side of humanity.
“You can go from one extreme,” he said, “to the other.”
Ferrara said law enforcement is about public service.
“I know it’s a cliché,” he said, but “that’s really what we do.”
Gagnebin’s long-term goal, the teen said, is to become a county sheriff. He praised the Public Safety Academy and the structure and discipline it offers.
“It allows you to focus more in class,” said the son of Tim Gagnebin Sr. and Heather Gagnebin.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.
Correction: Tim Gagnebin’s last name, as well as the last name of his parents, was misspelled in the original and in the accompanying photo caption.