Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna shared key insights with more than 80 students this month at the Long Beach Learning Center, which includes Beach and Reid high schools.
"The students were so engaged that they came to him afterwards, forming a line to ask more questions," said Lori Andrews, a restorative justice and ASB coordinator at Beach/Reid.
The chief shared his story of growing up in Los Angeles and having a dream of being a police officer despite the fact that he did not hear positive things about the police and was even encouraged to choose another career path. He explained that he was able to avoid joining gangs and to resist being enticed into wrongdoing. His love for football gave him a viable alternative, while some of his friends who went down the wrong path did not survive.
He answered students’ questions regarding requirements to be a criminal analyst, the program "Why'd You Stop Me," (wysm.org) and how long it takes to become a police officer. He ended the event by inviting students to spend a week with a criminal analyst to see what the job entails and to join a ride-a-long with a police officer.