The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

To protect and serve

Officer Andrew Simon is a former Sacramento City College student and is now a member of the Los Rios Police Department.

Evan E. Duran | Photo Editor | [email protected]

Taking a ride with a ride with a City College police officer

I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 9 years old when I heard a rumble from my driveway. I looked out the window and saw a large man in a tan-colored CHP uniform stepping off his motorcycle. To me, he looked like some sort of space cowboy or some futuristic soldier. It was then that I realized knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Although I never pursued a career in law enforcement, I did get the opportunity to go on a ride along with Los Rios Police officer Andrew Simon and document his day through the lens of my camera. As a photographer, I was able to get a glimpse into many tasks and events that make up an officer’s day.

“I think I’ve always wanted to work in public service,” says Simon, who is a 27-year-old Sacramento native and attended both American River College and Sacramento City College before graduating with a degree from California State University, Sacramento.

“You’re given all these tools — not just tools that you think of like a gun, a flashlight, a radio — but communication tools through training,” says Simon.

Those are the tools Simon puts on every day to help keep students safe at the many Los Rios community colleges and satellite campuses.

Simon starts his day at American River College campus, and then does his rounds by driving to the many Los Rios campuses. Los Rios has 11 campuses spread out through three different counties.

I rode with Simon to all but one of the campuses. As we walked through the many buildings, I watched Simon say hello to students and faculty throughout the day.
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I saw him escort a student off campus after the student was asked to leave the premises because he was harassing students. Though there was a pending case against the student, Simon treated the student fairly and respectfully.

“It takes a certain somebody to go out and just talk to people and get to know them, and say, ‘Hey, my name is Officer Simon. How can I help you?’” says Simon.

This made me realize that Los Rios police officers aren’t just there to hand out tickets and put people in handcuffs. Their job isn’t to be the “bad guy.” They are facilitators and problem solvers and diffusers of situations. They are there to protect students, faculty, staff and administrators and keep campus life running smoothly.

For Simon, his job is even simpler: “My main goal for the day would be to learn something new and try and help people to the best I can.”

Editor’s Note: this article first appeared on May 4, 2014 in the spring 2015 issue of Mainline magazine.


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