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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Battling crime with his wits

City College police officer Christian Kiester helps keep the campus safe and secure. Keister, the campus gang unit officer, has worked at City College for five years and says he enjoys daily interaction with the students he is charged to protect and serve. Photo by ||Nagah Morris|| [email protected]

In every email after Christian Keister’s signature, this quote by Mark Twain follows: “Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.”

Keister, who usually goes by Chris or Officer Keister, while on the job, has a gun on his belt and a shiny badge that reads No. 15. Keister is the City College campus police gang officer. He is also a specialized officer in field training and serves as an instructor for weaponless defense and impact weapons.

“The best tools are your judgment, and the ability to communicate with people,” says Keister, 40.

Candace Jaime, City College dispatch officer, explains how Keister is one of the best offi cers when it comes to working with young students. She says that many times Keister will approach gang members coming off at the City College light rail station and just have a simple conversation with them to make sure everything is maintained and safe. Keister is the one many can count on to control a bad situation.

“He actually will get to their level, and talk the way they talk,” Jaime says. “A situation that could have escalated is defused just by the way he talks to them.”

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After working in the automotive industry for years, he decided to do something with the schooling he had and started to work with emotionally disturbed children at a private school and at a group home. The work became a stepping stone for him before becoming a cop. He says he enjoyed the work, that there was a lot of action.

Keister got his associate’s degree in administration of justice at City College and never thought he would actually end up working here. He explained how he was supposed to work for the Placerville Police Department, but the day before graduation, he tore his ankle, broke a bone in his foot and was out for an entire year. After his foot healed, he worked at American River College then eventually came to City College.

“Dealing with students, I’ve seen him in bad scenarios where he’s handled it very well and I’ve seen him in good scenarios,” says College Store administrator Randy Clem. “I respect him as an officer. He’s just a good ol’ boy.”

Keister explained how students are the “cross section of the community” and how one needs to adapt and not judge a book by its cover. He says he enjoys working with City College students and is able to relate to them.

“I think almost every cop when they first start this job, the first couple of years, all they want to do is chase down people, catch bad guys, run and fight, drive fast and shoot guns,” Keister says. “But after you get four or five years under your belt, you kind of realize there’s more to this job than that.”

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