“I’ve always wanted to serve the community — be a part of the law enforcement,” said Angel Mata, who is studying criminal justice at College of the Desert.
The Cathedral City native wants to be a police officer in his hometown, if possible. He’s also a Public Safety Academy graduate getting ready for more training.
“Definitely from what I’ve experienced, it’s been incredibly remarkable for me,” described Mata about the academy.
Mata said he’s disappointed to hear about a grand jury report labeling the program as ineffective.
The findings blame outdated instructional methods and curriculum. The report also includes local police chiefs saying graduates are unprepared.
Something Mata doesn’t agree with.
“Our training officers are current law enforcement officers. So they’re always on the beat. They know what’s going on. As far as teaching us, they prepare us 100 percent,” Mata said.
COD officials aren’t saying much about the report.
“For now, let’s say we know we need to take a look at them carefully to give it the proper analysis it deserves,” said Pam Hunter, a public information officer.
COD’s new president, Dr. Joel Kinnamon, has his first day on the job July 9, and is expected to quickly put a team together to go over the report.
“We certainly think some of the things in the report are worthy of responding to, and perhaps correcting. It’s important to our students and community that the college has their trust. I believe we deserve that and I believe that’s what will come out when we’re done,” Hunter said.