Patrol Officer Lupe Gonzalez was born in Mexico City and moved to Greenfield when she was 10 years old, not knowing any English. "I was an athlete all my life -- I played soccer from six years old through Hartnell, and I was a fighter. I never gave up, I was always fighting for what I wanted, even if it was hard to get."
After high school, Officer Gonzalez attended Hartnell College, first graduating with a Business degree, and then obtaining a Criminal Justice degree. She switched to wanting to become a police officer after a ride along in Salinas.
"It was exciting, it was different - we weren't sitting at a desk - we were driving around, talking to people, and it was fun."
What does she like most about her job?
"The people that I work with -- my partners -- and the teamwork. We work together very closely and we know each other by name. To me that is very powerful... having good partners makes all the difference."
What does she bring to the position?
"Being a mom probably helps a lot. I can probably diffuse some situations that my partners can't -- because of being a mom and dealing with my kids. And, my language: I speak Spanish. I've also had some previous training with security."
What does she like to do outside of work?
"Be with my family -- we like to go to Disneyland. I like the Haunted Mansion, and taking photos with all the characters, and Goofy's Kitchen."
What would Officer Gonzlez say to a woman who's interested in becoming a Salinas Police Officer?
"The male officers don't treat me differently -- we're all the same -- we're all police officers."
"If you're not sure, do a ride along. But, I would say, not to give up. If this is your dream, then keep on going until you get it."