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Contact: David Valentin, Chief of Police, (714) 558-5829

Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department Welcomes New District Safety Officers

SANTA ANA, CA – December 15, 2011- During a hiring ceremony on Thursday, December 15, 2011, the Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department welcomed three new District Safety Officers. The newest members will join a team of 35 civilian District Safety Officers who proudly and professionally serve the students, staff and entire SAUSD community.

Santa Ana School Police Chief David Valentin, along with Superintendent Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D., welcomed the three employees at a formal reception in the District Board Room. Maria de Los Angeles Gomez, David Escobar and Hector Bravo were the top three candidates chosen after a highly competitive testing process. Each of these District Safety Officers are local success stories of our school district and bring substantial experience to their positions, having served in public safety and education based programs.

Maria de Los Angeles Gomez, born in Mexico City, and raised in Santa Ana, has served as a long-term substitute District Safety Officer in SAUSD since January 2009 and has also served as a Public Safety Officer for Golden West College Department of Public Safety. Maria is a graduate of Santa Ana High School.

David Escobar has served as a long-term substitute District Safety Officer in SAUSD for eight years, worked 14 years as an After School Program Coordinator with the City of Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Department and is also a graduate of the Fullerton College Police Academy. David is a graduate of Santa Ana High School.

Hector Bravo has six years of experience with the City of Santa Ana Police Department, where he most recently worked as a Senior Clerical Aide in the Police Traffic Division. Hector recently completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach. Hector is a United States Army veteran, with deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq in support of our country’s Operation Freedom. He received various commendations including an Infantry and Paratrooper badge. Hector has also served as a mentor with Big Brothers and Sisters of Orange County. Hector is a graduate of Valley High School.

“District Safety Officers are an integral part of the Police Department’s support structure,” said Chief David Valentin. “Their primary mission is providing highly visible proactive patrols on an assigned campus; promoting and maintaining a safe environment for students and staff within a Community Oriented Policing framework,” added Chief Valentin.
The Santa Ana School Police Department is the 3rd largest school police department in California. It consists of 23 sworn peace officers, four full-time dispatchers and 38 civilian District Safety Officers and professional office staff. The Department provides 24-hour a day service to over 58,000 students and 4,600 staff members at 69 schools and District sites. For more information about the Santa Ana Unified School District, please visit


By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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