Officer Haywood has worked at UC Merced Police department for 13 years. During this time, she has watched the campus grow from dirt lots to beautiful buildings with a diverse community.
Officer Haywood always knew she wanted a career in law enforcement from a young age. When she was thirteen, deputy sheriff Vern Warnke welcomed her into the Merced County Sheriff’s department explorer program and she was hooked. Officer Haywood loved working events with kids her age and knew she was going to be a police officer.
Right after high school, she enrolled in Merced Jr. College to attend the reserve police classes in the evenings while working part time as a security guard.
Officer Haywood eventually got hired with Atwater Police department as a reserve from 2002-2004. During this time, she was also a public safety dispatcher for Merced County, often working alone in the dispatch center. This was huge as she was responsible for all the deputies working patrol and the entire county by answering 911 calls.
Officer Haywood finally went through and finished the police academy in 2004 and started to serve the Merced county community in different areas. In 2007, the opportunity to work at the University came up and it was a huge decision to make the change. She applied and was offered the position after the interview.
Officer Haywood knew it would be a challenge but she was excited to be a part of such a young campus with so many students from different backgrounds. She had grown to know and still keeps in contact with a lot of students who work at different places such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat etc. Officer Haywood loves to hear how well they are doing and thriving after attending our campus for 4 years.
At the department, she has held many titles such as, Field training officer, RAD instructor, and CSO supervisor just to name a few. Since we are such a small department, we all share a lot of responsibilities together. Officer Haywood enjoys teaching the youth of our community from preschools to young adults in different programs.
Knowing most of our students on campus are away from home for the first time, she does her best to make conversations so they feel comfortable. Officer Haywood makes herself available to anyone who needs help or just wants to chat.