DAVIS (CBS13) — Wearing the badge is something Saul Guerrero has always wanted.

“I realize I wanted to become a police officer when I was very young,” Guerrero, Davis Police Department Community Service Officer, said. “I saw what they did, you know? Every day they put on the badge. They’re willing to risk their life for the sake of the community. That’s something I want to do, I want to be able to help people.”

Guerrero is going into his senior year at U.C. Davis while learning the ropes at Davis Police Department headquarters as a community service officer. Think of it as a police officer apprenticeship.

Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov with the Davis Police Department said getting potential recruits might be challenging during this time. It won’t be because of possible reforms, but the current climate.

“I don’t think it’s the reforms. It’s always good to improve a profession,” Doroshov said. “I think it’s more maybe there’s an anti-police sentiment and, you know, that’s going to dissuaded some people from entering in this profession that are already on the fence.”

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The deputy chief said the department already had issues with recruiting.

“We were already in a recruiting crisis before all of this started. Then COVID impacted our economy and hit the budget pretty hard,” Doroshov said.

Several other law enforcement agencies in our area that it’s still too early to speculate what kind of long-term impact any reforms will have on recruiting new deputies or officers. Further stating that they’ll continue to look for and recruit the best candidates.

Doroshov feels the future will tell what’s going to happen.

He hopes previous recruiting efforts like videos showing more community service can foreshadow of what’s to come.

“A lot more outreach probably for the younger generation and teaching them what police work is really like. As opposed to what they may perceive it as alike,” Doroshov said. “And hopefully working positively with any reforms to utilize them as a tool to make this profession better.”

Reform and change. Something the community wants and officers like Guerrero hope to bring.

“I would want to just have people be able to see us and feel safe,” Guerrero said. “That they can be able to trust us and they genuinely ask for our help.”

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