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Division of Administration & Business Affairs California State University, Sacramento

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Employee Spotlight


Leslie Fernandez

By Anna Anderson

What is your name, position, and department or unit?

Leslie Fernandez, Police Officer at Sac State PD

How long have you been with Sac State?

I was at Sac State as a student studying Criminal Justice from 2016 to 2020 and worked as a community service officer. I came back to Sac State in 2023 to apply as a cadet and now I’ve been an officer for a few weeks, but I’m still in training.

Who are your primary customers?

The campus as a whole. I serve the community, staff, visitors, and students. Officers also patrol Sac State buildings off campus such as the downtown location and the Julia Morgan House. Officers like myself work to ensure Sac State is a safe and comfortable place for everyone.

How would you define your role on campus?

My main role is serving the campus community and helping people feel safe, heard, and protected. My work day as an officer is very routine, it begins with checking patrol vehicles and equipment. Then we have a briefing and begin doing campus checks. Since I’m still in training I have to be accompanied by another officer while in uniform.

What makes you passionate about your work/duties?

I am passionate about my work because of my background. I am a Hispanic woman and not many police officers are Hispanic or women. I also want people to have a better outlook when it comes to police officers since I did not have very positive encounters with them growing up. My past experiences with police officers were not great, it was more of an indifferent experience. I did not see any community engagement from police officers and when they attended events the police officers wouldn’t engage with others, only with their partners. I also felt like the police officers made themselves look intimidating when they were in an environment where they did not have to be.

It was only when I came to Sac State and met the police officers here that I had better experiences. The officers at Sac State changed my perspective and I want to do that for others as well. The police officers on campus take the time to care for their community. The officers on campus make an effort to get to know their community by patrolling on foot and talking to random students, faculty, staff, and visitors to let them know they are here to help with whatever needs they have.

Prior to working at Sac State as a cadet, I worked in Alameda for EMS training. Before that, I was doing loss prevention, but I didn’t feel like either of those jobs was the right path for me. My husband was also a community service officer at Sac State and now he applied to be a cadet for the Roseville Police Department.

In your position, what are some of the biggest challenges faced, or rewards found?

Well, I’ve only been an officer for a short amount of time. I think the hardest thing I’ve had to face is putting what I learned in the academy into practice as an officer, specifically talking to people while I’m in uniform. It’s easier to do when you are practicing with other cadets and officers, but actually doing it can be challenging. You never know how someone will react in reality, but in the academy, you know you can trust the people around you. Being in the academy was also mentally and physically draining so it was gratifying when I graduated and received an award while I was there.

Could you please talk about some of your recent accomplishments?

I’d say my most recent accomplishment is graduating from the academy. I also received an award for being the most inspirational cadet during my time there. The academy was 7 months long and what led me to receive the award was facing my biggest challenge: jumping over the 6-foot wall. This was part of the ‘Sample Battery Test’. We had two practice tests, which I failed both times. This caused me to worry about the final test in November, which was just a month before graduation. To fully prepare myself, I used my lunch time to practice jumping over the wall and I also had my dad build me one at home so I could continue practicing on my days off. I was dedicated to the program and my classmates saw that I never gave up and truly tried my best to overcome this obstacle. All of my hard work came through in the end, but the only option I had was to pass. Failure was unacceptable. It felt good to be recognized by my peers and instructors through the award, and a personal accomplishment I have is that I’m the first Hispanic female in my family to pursue a career in law enforcement.

How would someone contact you?

You can email me at You can also stop by the Police Department on campus and ask for me. My schedule fluctuates since I am still in training, but those are the best ways to get in touch with me.

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