“To this day, when I smell eucalyptus trees, it brings me back to Golden West College,” said Westminster Chief of Police, Andrew Hall. Chief Hall is an alumnus of the GWC Police Academy and returned to GWC this November as a member of the Foundation Board.
When Chief Hall arrived at Golden West College Police Academy, he wasn’t sure he had what it took to be a police officer. He graduated in 1981 knowing that he did. He began his law enforcement career with the Westminster Police Department the same year. Chief Hall went on to earn his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco and his juris doctorate from Western State University. He was appointed to the Council of Mentally Ill Offenders in 2002 by California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, and served as the Interim City Manager of Westminster in 2006.
Of all his education and experience, his time at the GWC Police Academy is one of Chief Hall’s most memorable experiences. He learned many things at the Academy, but what stands out the most are the values he gained, such as leadership and perseverance. “What I learned is if I just stayed with it, I could get to the other side and achieve what I want to achieve.” Another value Chief Hall learned from the GWC Police Academy that has served him well throughout his career is teamwork. The Academy put great emphasis on working together. “Those who learn to lean on others and allow others to lean on them, persevere. I’ve used this in policing and in my graduate studies,” he said. “I’ve come to understand that when I associate myself with other people who are trying to achieve a similar objective, that collectively we have what it takes to get where we want to go.”
“Maybe more than any other experience,” Chief Hall said, “Golden West College helped me to believe in myself and my ability to get to where I wanted to go. That was a precious gift and I hope that, by being a part of the GWC Foundation, I can somehow return that to other people.” Chief Hall was a GWC Pillar of Achievement recipient in 2004 and delivered the commencement speech to GWC’s class of 2005. As a new member of the GWC Foundation Board, Chief Hall plans to launch an alumni association for graduates of the GWC Police Academy.
In his personal time, Chief Hall likes to collect historical guns. “These are vehicles to history,” he said, pointing to a pre-revolutionary war gun mounted on the wall. He is still unsure how he will spend his retirement, which begins in January 2010.