Harris receives top award at VC Criminal Justice Training graduation

September 29, 1999
Santa Paula News
Michael Harris of Ventura, who spent much of his childhood in Santa Paula, received a top award during graduation ceremonies of the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center on Friday, Sept. 10th. The graduating class - with 19 members in all - included Santa Paulans Daniel Alcantar, Darin Hendren, Aaron Nelson and Scott Reader.Harris, like all 1999 graduates a Ventura County Sheriff's Department cadet, received the special award for outstanding academic performance, an honor that didn't surprise his grandmother, Jean Harris of Santa Paula."Ever since he was in the third or fourth grade here in Santa Paula, Michael wanted to be a doctor," she said.After his graduation from Oxnard High School and the University of Mississippi with a degree in science, Michael decided against becoming a doctor and embarked on a varied career as a procurement officer for the American Red Cross, medical examiner and as an assistant scientist at Amgen. His interest in law enforcement led him to become a Ventura County Sheriff's Department cadet before Michael decided to enter law enforcement as a full-time career.The training academy is conducted by top law enforcement officials from departments countywide; although its graduates usually have positions ready for them to fill at various law enforcement agencies, the entire class is headed for Sheriff Department careers.The 24-week course includes academic studies centered on law enforcement - where Harris excelled and garnered the top award - as well as rigorous physical training similar to boot camp.Supervisor Judy Mikels was the graduation keynote speaker and she lauded those that enter law enforcement for their community dedication. . .and understanding families.
Harris is now in custody division training, the first career step required by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

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