Meet Darryl Manrique from the Street Crimes Unit of the Fremont Police Department
I started in law enforcement when I was 14, so I’ve been in about 20 years. I became an Explorer and I was a Police Explorer and became a reserve officer and worked part-time also has a police service aide while as a reserve because reserve officers are an unpaid job. I eventually, while going to college and working part-time and becoming a police reserve, I was starting to apply to be a police officer. I got hired at the age of 20 1/2 and started at the Academy shortly after. Went through the police academy and have been an officer for almost a total of 15 years now.
Some of the jobs I’ve had in law enforcement, I’ve worked patrol, that’s where everyone starts, I’ve also worked on the traffic division riding a motorcycle, I have worked with SWAT and also I worked as a detective primarily investigating gang crimes and being a proactive enforcement officer. I’m also currently working for the street crimes unit at the Fremont Police Department. And that’s my current assignment.
The street crimes unit is a proactive enforcement unit that is a very small unit. There’s a sergeant and four officers. We are tasked with everything from gang and drug enforcement on the street all the way down to small community issues. We also do presentations for parents and kids. We do enforcement of code enforcement violations with their team. We will go to some businesses and help them with what they do. We’re kind of a catchall team. We do almost anything that the department wants us to do.
Around the age of 12 I decided that I either wanted to be in the military or law enforcement. My father didn’t want me to be in the military. He was in the Army in Vietnam and he preferred that I wasn’t involved. However he knew how much it meant to me. But I decided to respect his wishes. I went with the other route and decided to join law enforcement.
My mom was working with the Fremont Police Department as a dispatcher so I became a Police Explorer with the Fremont Police Department. That’s how I got my foot in the door. And that led to getting to know the people that worked here, getting to know the way things worked around the department and helped me basically start my career. So I believe the way that I fell into this job, or got into it easier, was through starting off early as an Explorer.
I worked my way up in the department. I became a police service aide part-time, a reserve officer which is a full peace officer, just basically volunteering. And then that showed me what the job entailed. It gave me the experience and training that most people aren’t going to get who are just entering without that prior experience. And it also gets you the ability to talk to all of the officers, the administrative staff. They get to know you, they get to know you are a good person, if you are good officer. And when I reached the age that I was eligible to become an officer which is 20 1/2 to 21, I started applying and I got hired.
Education is very important in law enforcement. And in any agency you work for, they are always going to want you to continue to be educated and to seek higher education. I currently don’t have a degree but I do plan on going back because our police department is very big on wanting their officers to be as educated as possible. They stress that it’s very important. Not required but it is a good thing to have. They do look at it when you are being hired. It’s a plus to have on your resume.
Advice that I would give to a teen that is interested in law enforcement, it’s going to sound cliché, most offices are going to say it, but I will start off with it and that is to stay out of trouble. Stay in school, get your education. However, I believe it’s just as important to get life experience. They need to do either traveling, maybe living away from home, have a really good job that’s outside of law enforcement and get life experience in all aspects of their life, not just police work and not just stay focused on that path. You need to see what the world has to offer. And it actually helps you in law enforcement because of the people that you deal with on a daily basis and with the interview process whenever we have people come in for interviews and they don’t have that life experience, you can tell.
What’s next for me is probably going to be continuing in the gang investigation side of it. I am really interested in continuing my expertise with gangs, gang investigations, gang crimes. But I also am very interested in eventually – sooner than later – testing to be a sergeant. So if you are not interested in promoting in law enforcement, it’s not required and you don’t have to. You can go your whole career as just an officer level and you can actually experience a lot of different jobs within that level. We have plenty of officers who retire just as an officer and they have a full career, whether it be working with investigations detectives, working on SWAT, canine, motors, there’s just so much to do especially here at Fremont Police Department and you can have a full career just being an officer. It’s not required that you have to go any higher than that.