Sept. 14, 2012
What inspired you to become a police officer?
A close friend joined the Tucson Police Department and actively recruited me to do the same. In early 2000, he took me on a ride along, and after experiencing a homicide investigation, as well as other calls, the rest was history! I applied in April 2000 and was in the PoliceAcademy in July 2000.
How long have you been working for the police force?
As of July 14, 2012, I will have officially been a member of the Tucson Police Department for 12 years. I have been a Sergeant since November 2009.
Where are you from originally and what was your motive to stay in Tucson?
I was born and raised in Oakland,Californiaand came here to U of A in 1988. Looking back, I honestly did not see myself staying here in Tucson post U of A. In 1993, my son Torrence was born here and there was no way that I could leave and not be around. After all these years, and three more children, I consider my staying to be the best thing ever. Although it's been some years since I was out there on the field, it's truly amazing how I meet people and they remember me. My wife, Melissa (originally from Las Vegas and a 100% converted Wildcat Fanatic), and I laugh about that all the time.
How has your experience as a student athlete helped you in your current role as a Police Officer?
As a student athlete, you are thrusted into a position of leadership when you step foot on campus. I don't think that many people truly understand that in addition to this demand, there requires an extreme commitment to schoolwork as well as all expects of the given sport. As an 18-22 year old, I would be lying if I said there is no excuse for deviation from these principles. I feel then and now, it is actually very challenging for these young men and women because they don't have the expectations of the "average" student. Getting back on point, my experience at U of A, provided me with the ability to take on and commit to any challenge that I am faced with.
What are the similarities of being an officer and a football player?
The main similarity the two is the aspect of teamwork. Just like football, you have to be able to count on your partner/teammate 100%. The difference here is that in football, teamwork has the effect on the outcome of a game or contest. In the police realm, the reality is that it effects if you go home or not. In addition to teamwork, professionalism, commitment/dedication, and integrity (trust) are essential components. Last but not least, plan to win by any means necessary and HAVE FUN doing so!
How closely do you follow Arizona Football? What do you think about this upcoming year with the new coaching staff and Coach Rich Rod in place?
I am a very close follower of the program and am excited beyond belief about the upcoming year and the new coaching staff. I have all faith that Coach Rod is going to change the culture here and create a winning program that the Tucson community will be very proud to stick their chests out about. I have had the opportunity to meet with him and his staff and I honestly have never seen the loyalty that these gentlemen exhibit to each other in college sports. To me, that speaks volumes! This program is destined for greatness and Greg did an excellent job of bringing the best steward in to initiate the process. Look out PAC12, here we come!!!! Bear Down!
Thank you Marcel for sharing your story, we respect the way you have represented Arizona in such an admiral fashion. BEAR DOWN!