Deciding to change careers is never an easy choice. Officer Rodriguez grew up in the Merced area and attended Golden Valley high school. He was part of the track and cross-country team coached by Bill Hurst who was a major influence in his life. Coach Hurst taught him valuable life lessons.
He attended UC Davis for two years where he was also part of the track and cross-country teams. At this point in his life, he still did not know what career path he wanted to take and eventually had to move back to Merced due to unforeseen financial issues.
After moving back to the Merced area and working several jobs, Officer Rodriguez started his career with the City of Merced in 2008 as a public safety dispatcher and 911-call taker for both the police and fire department. It took 8 years working as a public safety dispatcher before making the choice to become a police officer.
Having an established career as a dispatcher made it very difficult at first to “make the jump.” The knowledge he gained by working in the dispatch center was very valuable to become a successful police officer. He learned quickly how to speak to people during the most stressful and probably the worst days of their lives. He learned the skills to keep people calm on the phone and get the necessary information to keep all first responders and community members safe.
In 2016, Officer Rodriguez applied as a police officer trainee with the City of Merced Police Department. After getting through the testing process he was picked as one of three trainees to attend the police academy in Fresno. After graduating from the Academy in December 2016, he returned to the Merced Police Department in early 2017 for more continuous training. Officer Rodriguez became a solo Patrol Officer after the completion of that training and was assigned to patrol.
Officer Rodriguez spent three years working as a patrol officer for the City of Merced and was part of the Crisis Negotiations Team. Being part of this team requires you to complete a 40-hour course held by the FBI. This course along with continuous training taught him how to deal with crisis negotiations and people in crisis.
In 2019, he decided the next step in his career was to apply as a police officer for UC Merced. After participating in the testing process, he was selected to join this great team. Helping people has always been his goal. Having the opportunity to help students succeed and guide them is the next major step in his career.