Raised by a father in the military and a mother in social work, Raymund Aguirre knew he wanted to do something similar to his parents.
Aguirre said he came to the realization that he wanted to be in law enforcement, seeing it as a combination of the professions of his parents, who he considered heroes.
He also cites the ‘70s cop TV series “Adam-12,” set in Los Angeles, as another inspiration.
“They dealt with regular people and regular problems. That’s what policing is all about, it’s helping the community find solutions for some of their problems … and of course bringing criminals to jail,” Aguirre said.
While Aguirre said he knew that being the chief of Cal State Fullerton University Police was a job that he could do, he said he wasn’t exactly sure the university would call back when he applied.
After four months, he received a call for an interview that would eventually allow him to continue his career in higher education law enforcement, his self-proclaimed niche.
In February it was announced Aguirre would replace Dennis DeMaio as police chief, and he officially started March 1.
Aguirre’s desire for connecting with people is something that his son, Matthew Aguirre, brings up often.
“He is really good at relating to people, and is able to make a good impression on the community. That is pretty important since the climate for law enforcement is so critical,” Matthew Aguirre said.
Raymund Aguirre’s career in law enforcement started in the Palo Alto Police Department. About a year later, he moved to the Foothill-De Anza College District Police Department in Los Altos Hills.
He said policing in a college setting yields more of a direct connection to the public than policing in a city department, because the cities typically have a larger number of residents and high-risk calls.
Raymund Aguirre has since worked at several different college police departments. Before he took the position at CSUF he was the chief of the San Diego Community College District Police.
His former colleague at the department, Lt. Gilberton Torres, said Raymund Aguirre would occasionally take care of work on the field.
Torres said it’s rare for a chief to take over in a case that involves fieldwork, but Raymund Aguirre “would not have his officers do anything he wouldn’t do.”
Raymund Aguirre describes the chief of police position as a manager-type job. He said his day typically consists of meetings with faculty to address concerns, as well as with his own staff to inform them about those expressed concerns.
In addition to meetings, Raymund Aguirre said part of the job is ensuring all divisions within the department are able to work well with each other.
“It’s not just the police that you see in uniform out there; that’s just one part of our operations. We have dispatchers and office people who do administrative work,” Raymund Aguirre said.
What attracted Raymund Aguirre the most to CSUF, in comparison to other college campuses, is the diversity of the faculty and students, and the leadership of CSUF President Fram Virjee
“President Virjee is very embracing and professional and expects all of us to be the same way,” Raymund Aguirre said.
Because Raymund Aguirre is still new to the university, he said he is in the observing phase of his job, hoping to integrate some of the programs that he helped carry out at the previous colleges he worked at, like the training plan he created for the San Diego Community College District Police Department, which created benchmarks for the training standards for sworn and non-sworn personnel.
Raymund Aguirre said he also wants to increase training for officers and the campus community in the case of an active-shooter situation. He also wants to have an open dialogue between the police and the community.
“That is one thing that is lacking,” Raymund Aguirre said. “Some people don’t trust the police, and we can’t have that. We need to work on getting their trust back.”