Catching up with State Park Peace Officer Lifeguard Britney Sanchez

State Park Peace Officer (SPPO) Lifeguard Britney Sanchez on patrol at South Pointe State Beach. Photo from California State Parks.

In May of 2019, the Parks Recruitment Team had the exciting opportunity of interviewing California State Park Peace Officer Cadet, Britney Sanchez. In her first Facebook Live interview, Officer Sanchez shared her excitement and determination in making California State Parks a permanent part of her life. Having worked for California State Parks as a seasonal lifeguard for nearly 15 years, the opportunity to continue making a difference and inspiring others to “Live The Parks Life” was something that pushed Officer Sanchez to pursue this exciting career path. 

On June 10, 2021, the Parks Recruitment Team caught up with Officer Lifeguard Sanchez to hear about her success and experience in becoming a peace officer for the largest state park system in the nation. In her most recent interview, Officer Sanchez discussed her ongoing passion and commitment in keeping our state parks and visitors safe, reflecting on how the cadet academy thoroughly prepared her to be her best. While reflecting on the academy, she described her time as a cadet as a “very positive experience” and encouraged others to “Just apply,” giving words of encouragement to all those planning to pursue this exciting opportunity. 

Whether you applied during this past application period or if you plan to “Live The Parks Life” as a State Park Peace Officer (Ranger/Lifeguard) in the future, here are some insightful takeaways from Officer Sanchez:

Parks are for Everyone

Here at California State Parks, we are a family and we pride ourselves in being able to say that! Whether you plan on pursuing a career as a State Park Peace Officer or if your interests reside in another career path, California State Parks makes every effort to ensure that our workforce is reflective of California’s uniquely diverse communities. If working in a California State Park is your career goal, reach out to the Parks Recruitment Team (recruiting@parks.ca.gov) or visit www.LiveTheParksLife.com to explore the many exciting career paths that await you.

Don’t Let Fears Get in Your Way

As Officer Sanchez noted in each of her interviews, she had never previously operated a firearm until she made it to the Parks’ cadet academy. The great part about the State Park Peace Officer cadet academy is that you will have the opportunity to learn everything you need to know to be successful in your career. From learning about the unique history of our state parks to law enforcement techniques and resource protection, our cadet academy is designed to give cadets a strong foundation and education to not only be respectable peace officers, but to also help in career advancement. 

Enjoy The Process

The road to the State Park Peace Officer Cadet Academy may seem daunting, but it is important to remind yourself that there is an entire department rooting for your success! Take time to remind yourself that you are capable and strong enough to complete this entire process from start to finish. As Officer Sanchez mentioned in her most recent interview, prepare and start training early. But most importantly, enjoy the process! 

Be Ahead of the Curve

One of the key takeaways from both interviews with Officer Sanchez, and something that you will hear from many full-time Parks’ staff often, is to start as a Park Seasonal Aide. California State Parks offers many part-time/seasonal job opportunities throughout the state. These opportunities are a great way for potential applicants to get their foot-in-the-door and learn about how our parks operate. It is also a great time for potential State Park Peace Officer Cadet applicants to network with current full-time Officers. These opportunities are also great for those interested in other career paths. By starting in a seasonal position, you are helping to build your resume and connections. 

To all those wanting to “Live The Parks Life,” the Parks Recruitment Team is always excited to help job seekers find their passion. Whether that passion lie within law enforcement, administrative, accounting, resources protection, or in another career field, connect with the Recruitment Team today to start living your dreams. Email recruiting@parks.ca.gov to get started! 

To Officer Sanchez, thank you so much for catching up with us and sharing your experience and knowledge with everyone! 

SPPO Lifeguard Britney Sanchez graduates from Basic Visitor Services Training (BVST) 42 in June 2019 as Coastal Division Chief/Executive Law Enforcement Chief Brian Ketterer badges her. Photo from California State Parks. 

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