If things had gone differently, Ramon Godoy might have found himself teaching the quadratic equation, rather than placing someone in handcuffs, but for the newly promoted Turlock Police sergeant, the choice couldn’t have been easier.
“This is a great profession,” Godoy said. “I love it.”
Godoy has had a 27-year career in law enforcement, with the last 18 at the Turlock Police Department. He has served as a school resource officer, a field training officer, a member of the honor guard, a member of the critical response team, a hostage negotiator and a detective. He has been presented with an award of commendation and distinguished service. On Thursday, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar said it was an honor to have Godoy be a part of the department and that he looked forward to having him help mold a new crop of young officers.
“He has served this community with dignity, professionalism and the utmost care,” Amirfar said.
The path to success was not easily paved for Godoy, who was born in a small village in Guanajuato, Mexico. He immigrated to the United States when he was 7 years old, which also marked the first remembered meeting of his father, who had been working in Livingston for several years.
Godoy began school at Livingston Elementary without knowing any English.
“I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Godoy said of his teachers. “Mostly I had to rely on hand gestures.”
The language barrier didn’t prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for Godoy, who learned to read and write English and began to excel in school. He said he was drawn to mathematics because of the challenge it presented and was on his way to earning his degree in the subject while studying at California State University, Stanislaus, when he had a change of heart in his senior year.
“I thought about becoming a police officer and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it,” Godoy said. “I finally said ‘I’m going to try this.’ I really liked what it stood for.”
Godoy had to dig deep to take all the needed classes, but it payed off when he was accepted into the police academy and later earned his first position with a law enforcement agency in Monterey County.
Godoy said his family drew him back to the area and he began his career with the Turlock Police Department in 1999.
Now, in his role as a sergeant, he said he is looking forward to helping the officers that he will be supervising.
“As a leader and a supervisor, you are constantly teaching others, whether it is through your experience in applying the law, or just your life experience from over the years, it’s your responsibility to pass that along,” he said.
Godoy also wants to serve as a mentor to those in the Hispanic community, like the teachers who helped guide him as a boy and a young man.
“The lack of language does not have to be a barrier to success,” Godoy said. “If you work hard, apply yourself, go to school and stay out of trouble, there’s no telling where you may go.”
The promotion ceremony also saw the police department swear-in new officer Allan Samano, Emergency Services Dispatcher Lorrie Lucas and Emergency Services Dispatcher trainee Jennifer Proce, and welcome new hire Lilia Franco to the Records Division.