EC officer embraces community

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EC officer embraces community

Melvin, a member of the EC Police Department for nine years, stands outside of his police car in an EC parking lot. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Melvin, a member of the EC Police Department for nine years, stands outside of his police car in an EC parking lot. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Melvin, a member of the EC Police Department for nine years, stands outside of his police car in an EC parking lot. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Melvin, a member of the EC Police Department for nine years, stands outside of his police car in an EC parking lot. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

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A tall armed suited man steps out of the station and quickly puts on his black shades. The reflection of the sun is hitting his ECC police badge as he steps into his vehicle. Once he hears the ignition sound go on, he knows that his duties for the day begin.

A black Ford Explorer truck comes cruising around the parking lot, he makes his way into the campus patrolling, while looking side to side, ensuring the safety of all.

Stuart Melvin, 48, was a transfer police officer from Compton College and has been at the EC police department for nine years now.

Melvin’s duties are just about the same a regular outside officer will have, but his service is at a college. His day consists of going into the station, sitting through roll call and meeting with the supervisors to hear information about the previous shifts.

After that is done, officers will normally be sent out to do extra patrolling that is asked by certain staff members, get calls from the stations saying be on the lookout (BOLO), prepare their cars and equipment when they get a call to go out to scenes, and patrol around the parking lots to protect the students’ vehicle’s property.

The department provides a wide variety of services. Some examples are giving out citations, arrests, calls, providing courtesy shuttle rides for everyone, presenting sporting events and events like Coffee with a Cop and The Pancake Breakfast that give an opportunity for students to meet the police officers. The department’s main focus is to make sure the campus is safe.

Officer Melvin found an interest in the field when he was eight years old, due to the fact that he grew up watching and admiring the job his father did. He remembers hearing stories that his father and older brother encountered while being on duty.

“Wow that really happened? You walked in the building with a flashlight and you caught the bad guy and took him to jail? Wow, that’s Batman stuff, I wanna do that,” Melvin said.

Melvin’s profession has helped him grow along the way and has given him an opportunity to be able to interact with people from different backgrounds. Melvin enjoys growing in that way, he said.

Melvin’s most memorable experience as a police officer was when he graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy back in 1996.

“It was liberating because the police academy for us back then was seven months and it was a hard seven months too. At the end of those seven months if you made it through in one piece, you got the job and made it through all the trials of tribulation,” Melvin said.

Throughout his career in the law enforcement it has been difficult for him to have to go through the process of attending a police funeral.

Melvin’s advice for safety awareness for students is to be aware of their surroundings, if it’s late walk in groups, park in visible lighting areas, and if someone is alone walk up to a blue poll or dial the police station number (310) 660- 3100 and a campus cadet will assist anyone to a shuttle ride to their vehicles.

“Be cognitive of your surroundings on what you’re doing, where you’re going, and maintain visual possession of your belongings,” Melvin said.

When Melvin is off duty he likes to spend time with his family, catch a movie with his wife, participate in his church, hang out at home and do some gardening work.

In the next five years, Melvin plans on retiring to dedicate his time with family, his church, and his health.

“You start to think about your longevity on when you can retire and when you do retire you want to make sure that everything on your body is still working. For me over long period of time hearing sirens, I (want to) make sure I can still hear when I leave the department,” Melvin said.

Melvin’s colleague respects the fact that Melvin has been fulfilling his duties at the department and appreciates his work ethic.

“He’s been extremely proactive which is what we want,” sargent Jeffrey Lewis said. “We like two forces of proactive which is student oriented and we like to do proactive enforcement’s on violations that we see so that we can protect the students and staff here. He does both which is really good and has a nice balance.”

Another colleague of his admires the fact that Melvin is able to can handle situations in a calm matter when they are out in the field and be able to recognize it. He also respects Melvin’s concentration in his job.

“When you’re a little older in a job you can kind of see issues, you have more tools in your tool bag to be able to take care of a problem,” detective Marcus Thompson said. “He brings that knowledge in trying to find a peaceful solution to a problem.”

Melvin’s message to students is to push through in their academics and to take full action in their decisions.

“You already made the right decision to come to school, the important things is to see your dreams go all the way through,” Melvin said. “Don’t give up on your dreams, (but) be patient, it will happen.”

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