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Public Safety department hosts May 13 job fair

A visiting officer demonstrates the fine points of a police car to a Chemeketa student at last year's fair.

A visiting officer demonstrates the fine points of a police car to a Chemeketa student at last year’s fair.

By Willadean Wright – Photo by Courier News Service

On May 13, representatives from public safety organizations will be on campus for the Public Safety and Job Fair.

“This event could help people realize what careers are available and what volunteer positions are available,” Chris Cooper, a coordinator of the event, said.

Cooper is the lead dispatcher for Chemeketa’s Public Safety department.

Twenty agencies will take part. Among them are the Salem Fire, Mount Angel Police, and Hubbard Fire departments.

“There will be K-9 demos, Marion County equipment displays, an airport fire truck, and a fire truck aerial ladder, ” Cooper said.

Students are encouraged to attend the fair and see what career opportunities are available.

“We encourage people to ask questions about various jobs in Public Safety,” Cooper said.

Cooper also said that Chemeketa’s law enforcement program is one of the best in the state.

While some public safety organizations are hiring, many also are looking for volunteers.

“For example, the Fire Fighter Association almost always needs volunteers,” Cooper said.

“We need citizens to become involved as volunteers. That can also look great on a resume if you choose to make public safety your career.”

Cooper said that public safety work can lead to a rewarding career.

“It’s a boom industry, a new field for people to explore. Plus, a student can work with the Federal Work Study Program. … Chemeketa relies heavily on work study students,” he said.

Officer Daniel Diaz, a graduate of Chemeketa’s law enforcement education program, said he was pleased with his decision to pursue public safety as a career.

“I went to Chemeketa for three years,” he said. “The first year I was undecided. The second year I was admitted in the program and graduated with my associate’s degree and certificates.

“I love what I do. It’s something new every day. I’m moving towards better horizons.”

Diaz said to become a public safety officer, students need a GED or a high school diploma, a clean record, and be at least 21. Hiring specifications are available on the Marion County Sheriff Department and Salem Police Department websites.

“Everyone should come to job fair. It’s a field people don’t know about, and it’s a good way to talk with police without feeling intimidated,” he said.

Cooper said he hoped to see an expansion of the fair in the coming years.

“There has been no funding or sponsoring for this event – just hard work from students and staff along with Chemeketa. Next year we want to expand to larger communities like Portland, with more products, vendors, and new equipment. Chemeketa is its own little city,” he said.

The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Salem campus blue parking lot. The event is free, including parking.

A barbeque lunch will be available from 10 a.m. to noon for $6.

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