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A Patch Leads to a Career in Law Enforcement

Post Date:01/30/2018 10:23 AM
When Rancho Cordova Police Officer Randy Moya was seven years old, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officer came to his house looking for his brother. The officer wanted to question his brother about a recent crime that had occurred. Despite the situation, Moya asked the officer for a patch like the one on his uniform. The officer didn’t have one with him, but two weeks later, Moya got a surprise return visit and a patch!

This situation piqued Moya’s interest in law enforcement, and he considers it one of the defining moments that led to his 24-year career in law enforcement. Moya still has the patch to this day and is now proudly retiring from the Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD).

Moya’s official start in law enforcement began while he was working at Costco after graduating from high school. He became acquainted with a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officer who was working a second job at a neighboring business. The officer gave Moya a copy of the California Penal Code and encouraged him to study it and take the test to enroll in the Sheriff’s Department Academy. In 1994, Moya did just that.

After he graduated from the Academy, Moya went through training throughout the Sacramento region. His first assignment following training brought him to Rancho Cordova, South Sacramento and the Delta in 1996.

“It was my first time in Rancho Cordova, and I enjoyed working here,” said Moya. “Rancho Cordova was a great place to learn how to be a police officer.”

Over the next 15 years, Moya worked in Detectives, Major Narcotics and the Courthouse. He spent 12 of these years in Major Narcotics travelling throughout California, in addition to other states, addressing criminal activity related to cocaine, methamphetamine, heroine and other drugs. Moya even testified in federal and state courts due to his extensive experience.

In 2014, RCPD was hiring for a School Resource Officer, and Moya jumped at the opportunity to apply and come full circle back to Rancho Cordova. During his two years as a School Resource Officer, he partnered with administrators, teachers and students at 18 local schools to improve safety. Moya assisted schools in liaising with parents and performing welfare checks, addressed school safety concerns such as trespassing, and even provided training presentations such as preparing for active shooter situations.

Moya then transitioned to further serving the community as a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer in the Anatolia, Cordova Meadows, Sunridge Park, Kavala Ranch and Lincoln Village neighborhoods. In this role, his primary focus is on acting as a liaison with residents to address long-term public safety issues and concerns; a role his colleagues feel fits him well.

"I’ve known Officer Moya for over 23 years and have been fortunate enough to work alongside him on several occasions throughout my career,” said Rancho Cordova Chief of Police Chris Pittman. “Officer Moya is one of those hard working individuals that everybody likes. He truly cares about the people around him and the citizens he serves.”

One of his greatest success stories at RCPD was partnering with the apartments in the Cordova Meadows neighborhood. Following resident concerns and a high volume of calls for service, Moya hosted a meeting for the apartment owners and managers to discuss how RCPD could partner with them to improve safety for residents. Since that meeting, apartments have invested in security upgrades, communication has increased, and calls for service have decreased.

“I feel like I have a stake in Rancho Cordova because of the time I’ve served this community and the relationships I’ve formed with residents,” Moya said. “I’m going to miss Rancho Cordova and the residents, the sites and the colleagues I have gotten to know so well.”

One of these residents is Katherine Weedman-Cox, a Neighborhood Watch coordinator for the Raven Oaks neighborhood. She has worked with several POP officers over the years and invested time and energy in establishing relationships with each of them. Katherine said Officer Moya will be missed in the neighborhood once he retires due to his commitment to communication, trust and an overall sympathy for the struggles each neighborhood faces. 

“Officer Moya was relentless in making things happen,” Weedman-Cox said. “Just when I was about to resign from my involvement, due to burn out, Officer Moya gave me a challenge that I had to take: bring two neighborhoods together for a meet-and-greet coffee. With the help of many long-time-involved neighbors from Cordova Meadows and Raven Oaks, we were able to successfully bring over 40 residents together on a Saturday morning for coffee and pastries with several POP Officers, including the Sergeant!”

“Officer Moya is keen on follow-up and makes sure things happen,” Weedman-Cox said. “He can handle tough crowds while keeping a smile on his face. He has broken barriers and set the bar high. Mostly, he has become a great neighborhood friend. We all wish him the best of luck and hope to see him around.”

In his retirement, Moya will be taking a vacation and spending time with his wife and children. He hopes to come back as a retired annuitant to continue to give back to the community he loves to serve.

The Rancho Cordova Police Department congratulates Officer Moya on his retirement and thanks him for his service to the Rancho Cordova community!
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