April 11, 2012

The People Behind Community Services

Sergeant Mike Harms and Officer Joe Hernandez oversee the department's Community Services Section. Along with a team of volunteers they help organize the Citizen Police Academy (English and Spanish), PRIDE Program, Teen Public Safety Academy and dozens of community outreach events. Here is a little more about them:

Sergeant Harms began his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.  He spent two years as a Correctional Officer working in the Main Jail, Medium Security Facility and Jail Farm settings.  He was hired by the Santa Cruz Police Department in January 1997 as a Police Officer.  As an officer he worked in Patrol, in the Downtown Unit, as an F.T.O. (Field Training Officer), and also as a Motorcycle Officer.  He also spent several years in the Investigations Bureau as a Persons Crimes Detective until he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2006.  Sergeant Harms returned to the Operations Division as a Patrol Field Supervisor and in 2007 took over Supervision of the Downtown Unit (DTU).  Sergeant Harms is currently assigned as the Supervisor of the Community Services Section.    

Aside from his regular duties, Sergeant Harms is a Team Leader on the E.S.U. (Emergency Services Unit), a Certified Motorcycle Training Officer, a P.O.S.T. certified Driving Instructor and Department Taser Instructor.  Sergeant Harms holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Jose State University.

Officer Joe Hernandez began his law enforcement career with the Santa Cruz Police Department as a Patrol Officer in the Operations Division.  Officer Hernandez immediately focused his efforts toward dealing with gang issues within the city of Santa Cruz.  Officer Hernandez has had the opportunity to work several different assignments within the Department such as, Beach Flats Foot Patrol, Street Crimes Unit, Santa Cruz County Anti Crime Team, the Gang Task Force and as a Detective.

Each of these assignments included extensive work in narcotics, prostitution and other gang related activities.  Officer Hernandez has also testified as a recognized Gang Expert in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. 

Sergeant Harms and Officer Hernandez are now assigned to the Community Services Section of the Santa Cruz Police Department to work on intervention and prevention programs for at risk youth among other duties.