Klarissa Garcia is a Toro through and through. She not only serves as department operations specialist for the CSUDH Police Department (DHPD), but is a Dominguez Hills alumna, having graduated with a BS in criminal justice in 2008. “I’ve been a Toro since 2003!” she says proudly.
In her position with DHPD, Garcia says “Every day can be a bit different, depending on what’s going on at the department or on campus. I’m like the jack of all trades. My day can range from handling evidence or filing records to coordinating with a vendor regarding equipment issues or jumping into dispatch and helping with a call for service. I also work the front counter, helping the campus community with any questions or requests they may have.”
“I strive to give every single person I interact with the best customer service I can,” she adds. “If I cannot answer your question, I will always find someone who can. I am proud to say that I come to work every day and give 110% of my blood, sweat, and tears to my department and to this campus.”
Born in Puerto Rico, Garcia moved to Los Angeles with her family as a toddler due to health issues. “I needed to have open-heart surgery to repair a valve in my heart that wasn’t growing. I had the surgery at UCLA Medical Center when I was 3 years old. I’ve only had one minor heart procedure since then. Aside from that I’ve had no issues and have been blessed to live a healthy life.”
“Plus, I have a bad-ass scar on my chest that I wear like a badge of honor,” she says.
Garcia got into police work during her senior year at CSUDH. “I had to complete an internship and got word that I could do it at the police department on campus,” she recalls. “So I did that, and after I graduated, I was offered a job doing Live Scan for the department.” When a dispatch position opened a few years later, she moved into that job, where she spent the next eight years. She’s been a department operations specialist for the past three years.
“I love what I do,” says Garcia. “I feel like I was meant to do this. You just have to tell me that you need some help and I’m there to lend a hand in any way I possibly can.”
“What I enjoy most is when we can all come together to really make a difference for our Toro Nation,” she continues. “I feel like Dominguez Hills is such a wonderful institution. It really does take a village to come together to collaborate on all the moving parts that truly make DH come alive and properly work.”
“It’s going to sound cliché to say, but the people are what make working at DH so special,” says Garcia. “I work and get to collaborate with some really wonderful individuals on a daily basis.”
When she’s not working, Garcia most enjoys spending time with her family. “I’ve been married to my husband for 11 years, but we’ve been together for 21 years. We have two healthy, strong-willed daughters, and in our down time we try and spend time together by going on hikes, going to the beach, or just having good old-fashioned dance parties at home in our pajamas!”