The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Sergeant honored for years of service

Although he’s no cape crusader, Sgt. Kirk Johnston of the EC Campus Police Department is definitely a superman when it comes to getting the job done.

Dedicating more than 19 years of service to EC, Johnston said he can find nothing more exciting than the different challenges each day brings on campus.

“I love it,” he said. “It (EC) is such a great place to work.”

Before coming to EC, Johnston gained four years of experience as a beach patrolman during the summers for the City of Hermosa Beach, describing it as a very personalized and community-oriented city.

“I guess that kind of laid the foundation for coming here because it’s even more personalized and sort of like a small community itself,” Johnston said.

Thriving on the fact that there is never a dull moment, Johnston, while sitting with his leg in a cast from a skating fall, said that every day is new in the sense that it brings about a whole new set of circumstances.

“One minute I could be chasing someone through the parking lot who has tried to break into a car,” he said, “or I could be administering CPR on someone having a heart attack.”

But aside from his responsibilities, the stimulating conversations with people on campus is what Johnston said really makes it an interesting place to work.

“I think EC runs in his blood,” Michael D’Amico, chief of police said. “He’s familiar with all the faculty and staff and he stops to talk with the students.”

In addition, colleague and friend, Sgt. Dal Toruno said he has known Johnston since 1983 and describes his character as upbeat, flexible and well rounded.

“He’s not a hard-nose at all,” he said. “We go to him for everything and when he’s not working he will adjust his schedule to help others,” Toruno said.

By no means has all Johnston’s hard work and commitment gone unnoticed.

He recently received an award from the California College and University Police Chief’s Association for his outstanding service to educational law enforcement.

“I was the only officer from a community college police department to get it,” Johnston said. “All the other (officers who won) were from cal-state campuses.”

Johnston said that receiving such an award helps him realize that he is appreciated for his efforts and dedication. Johnston said he truly enjoys every moment of what he does and would trade it for anything in the world.

However, Johnston said that two of the most prestigious awards he received came from the campus newspaper.

Pointing toward his inbox, Johnston said, “I got those from the Union for my cooperation with the news staff.”

“It’s not often you receive annual awards from your campus newspaper,” he said.

Adding to his highlights, Johnston said that other special moments in his career have been his opportunities to meet celebrities such as O.J. Simpson, Harry Belafonte, and a lot more.

“Being the senior officer I get to coordinate security when prominent guests come on campus,” he said.

“And when Oprah was here a few years ago, I got to hang out with her and Stedman and that was really cool,” Johnston said.

However, Johnston said his real goal is to make sure students know that their campus police are available at any time for anyone at EC.

Taking advantage of the campus police is no different than taking advantage of any other service on campus, Johnston said.

“If a student has any type of concern or questions, or even if they think someone is stalking them, they can talk to me or any of the officers,” Johnston said.

And though he may have had some opportunities to leave EC, Johnston said he never would. Johnston said he considers EC his community.

“I consider it a privilege to work in an environment like this,” he said. “It’s a great place to work.”

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