Deputy Aaron Muradyan grew up in Rancho Cordova, going to local schools and playing basketball. He is now a deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and owes much of where he is now to Rancho Cordova PAL.
Muradyan’s story begins when he was 15-years-old on the last day of his freshman year in high school. RCPD officers showed up at his school for a game of basketball to seek student interest in a newly formed PAL program. Rancho Cordova PAL is a nonprofit organization that builds relationships between RCPD and youth through a variety of programs, at no cost to the kids.
Muradyan went to the first PAL event in Rancho Cordova – and was the only kid who showed up! Despite the lack of showing by his peers, he had a great time playing basketball and Xbox with RCPD officers, and he joined the program. Muradyan has fond memories of PAL events, from walking the parade route at Rancho Cordova’s 4th of July to participating in the March Madness basketball tournament.
“I loved basketball, and I loved police officers,” said Muradyan. “I enjoyed interacting with the officers in a different and comfortable setting, and I was able to see the other side of law enforcement.”
The defining moment came when Muradyan joined RCPD’s Explorers Program, a program for youth ages 14-20 years old who are interested in a career in law enforcement. During the two-year period, he studied the law, received hands-on training such as practicing vehicle stops, and participated in community events. His favorite part of the program was going on ride-alongs with the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officers.
“The POP Officers would impart advice, and I would observe how the officers would handle situations,” said Muradyan. “I learned what policing styles I liked.”
Once the Explorers Program was complete, Muradyan attended Sacramento State and studied Criminal Justice for five years. Two months after he graduated, he started attending the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Training Academy and was paid to attend. Only 10 recruits are picked to be paid to attend each academy class, and he credits Rancho Cordova PAL’s recommendation as the reason.
Muradyan graduated from the academy and is now working at the Sacramento County Main Jail. He looks forward to gaining experience through various assignments.
“I always knew I wanted to go into law enforcement,” said Muradyan. “But after meeting the officers, going on ride-alongs, and participating in community activities, it confirmed I wanted to be an officer with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.”
Rancho Cordova PAL worked to build rapport and trust with Muradyan and foster the positive attitude he had from the very beginning. PAL looks forward to seeing what he will accomplish at the Sheriff’s Department.
“Deputy Muradyan’s journey from being in PAL to becoming part of our law enforcement family is one of our greatest success stories,” said Youth Services Officer Jose De La Cruz. “We are proud to serve our community alongside him.”