gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 19

Shane credits his mom for convincing him to make a senior-year transfer to Bellarmine, which helped him focus, and encouraging him to pursue his interests on college and scholarship applications. Shane enrolled in Justice Studies at San Jose State University and won a soccer scholarship. Sophomore year, he shifted to Law Enforcement and knew he’d found his calling. During those years, Shane worked as a janitor, inventory clerk, and construction worker. As a cadet, he interned with the SJSU Police Department, and worked for the Santa Clara County Probation Office as a youth counselor at the Boy’s Ranch and Girl’s Ranch facilities in Morgan Hill and San Jose. “It provided a structured environ- ment for kids who’d never had one. Hearing their stories reminded me how fortunate I was growing up. I saw kids born into situations they couldn’t control. They needed a chance to learn what good decisions are before they could make good decisions.” The Academy After graduating from SJSU, Shane tested for the Police Academy in 2002. Morgan Hill Police Department spon- sored him through the Academy at Gavilan College. He graduated at age 23 and was hired by MHPD as an officer. He went through field training, gradually taking on direct responsibil- ity while being shadowed by an officer. A one-year probation period followed. Shane knew that if he failed any aspect of testing more than once, he’d be dismissed from the Academy. “There was daily pressure to per- form to expectations in order to stay on. The Academy was a means to my dream career. I wanted to graduate at the top of my class. My passion for the profession definitely carried me through when things got tough.” In 2004, Shane became a full- time police officer with MHPD. Since then he has earned promotions while serving as a Field Training Officer, Detective, Person Crimes Officer, Corporal/First Line Supervisor, Sergeant, and Captain. This year, he’s been tasked with overseeing the Special Ops and Patrol divisions of the PD, and serving as Acting Chief when Police Chief David Swing’s duties call him away from the office. The “Department of Choice” The MHPD mission is to be the Department of Choice. Shane explained it this way: “If our community could choose any PD in the nation to call to assist them in their time of need, they would choose MHPD because we’ve established a pattern and practice of providing a service that exceeds community expectations.” Shane provided examples of officers going beyond the call of duty. “There was the officer on patrol who stopped to change a flat tire so the resident didn’t have to wait on the roadside. The officer who encountered someone down on their luck, paid for a hotel room, and checked on them the next morning. The officer who took a report from a victim of identity theft and called back with 48 hours with follow-up steps to help the resident ensure their identity was protected. And the officer who checked in daily on a student with truancy issues, brought him to school in his patrol car, and gave him a pep talk on the way. That stu- dent, now an adult, still remembers and appreciates the help he received.” “Public safety is about law enforce- ment, and beyond that, connecting GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN april/may 2019 with the City and caring for the com- munity, including the downtown busi- nesses, neighborhoods, schools, and parks. It’s about understanding the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law.” On a “typical” day, Shane looks after the patrol division, making sure they respond to the needs of the community and have tools and equip- ment they need. He communicates with them about regional crime trends and ensures that everyone is on the same page, empowered to do their jobs. He acknowledges officers’ work in front of the entire department. He stays connected with outside agencies. He keeps an eye on emerging trends and technology. He looks for funding. And he assists with recruiting. Words of Affirmation “Our Police Chief, David Swing, was my first training officer and mentor. He helped me draw a clear boundary between work and home life and made sure I knew when I was in the gray area. He commended and challenged me and told me what I needed to hear. I’ll always be grateful for that.” Shane was recognized by the City of Morgan Hill as Employee of the Year (2018) and was awarded a medal of bravery after apprehending a murder suspect. He has also won peak performance awards from MHPD. Family Matters Shane described Tiffany, his wife of 19 years and an English Professor at Gavilan College, as an “intelligent, beautiful wife to whom I owe much of my success.” Tiffany encouraged him to pursue part-time studies so he could earn his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration/Justice Studies from SJSU. gmhtoday.com 19