PV High Gets Campus Officer With Many Life Experiences
• Palos Verdes High School has new School Resource Officer patrolling campus.
From minor league baseball to the Los Angeles Police Department and to Lakewood High School, Steven Moses’ journey has taken him to Palos Verdes High School as a School Resource Officer (SRO).
Moses hopes to gain the trust of the student body and maintain a symbiotic relationship between community and safety as he aims to become a familiar and reliable face on campus.
Moses’ roots can be traced back to the South Bay, as a graduate of Cypress High School and Cerritos College.
“I made choices along the way,” said Moses of his time in high school. “There were drugs; there were cigarettes; there was drinking. I chose the path of sports and education. I made a conscious choice to stay away from all the other bad stuff. I tend to think that’s a big reason why I prospered, and some of my friends didn’t.”
Shortly after his time at Cerritos College, he received a scholarship to play baseball at Arizona State University, which would lead him to be drafted in the ninth round by the Philadelphia Phillies. For the next five years, he traveled across the nation playing minor league baseball, four years spent with the Phillies and one with the Cleveland Indians.
“It was a whole lot of fun,” said Moses. “Can you imagine playing baseball … and getting paid for it?”
As fun as the experience was, being a player in the minor league circuit came with its own set of challenges. The MLB is notorious for putting players through a strenuous training and game schedule, and Moses felt the effects, working a job during the off-season to keep himself afloat.
After his fifth season came to a close, he decided to retire. With a family to support, he finished his college education at Long Beach State University and decided to pursue law enforcement, working for the Los Angeles Police Department for 30 years, reaching the rank of sergeant.
“A lot of the people I worked with were ex-athletes out of college, high school or some [were] professionals, so it replaced competitive sports perfectly,” said Moses. “It’s like any other job - you want to do well and thus you create your own competition.”
Students’ reactions have been mixed with the additions of SROs on Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District high school campuses, but some students believe that the district’s efforts to ensure a safe campus are a step in the right direction, especially after PVHS was on lockdown after a threat was called into the school last school year.
“I think that it’s a great thing because the lockdown went on for longer than it should have and that scared a lot of students,” said junior Armaan Jhangiani, “So to have one (SRO) on campus probably eases students safety concerns knowing that someone is going to try and protect them.”
For Moses, he plans on proving that he is worthy of earning skeptics and the student body’s trust at large, along with bringing decades of experience as an officer and as an SRO at Lakewood High School to the job.
“Trust does not happen overnight,” Moses said. “I’ll deal with students that violate my trust, and the trust of their fellow students as well… This is supposed to be a safe haven, a learning environment. I’m here to help with that, but at the same time, I’m here to bridge the gap between law enforcement and helping a kid get to the next level.”