The ranks of the Winters Police Department grow stronger as Sergeant Manuel Cardoza recently joined the fold. Coming with years of police experience, Cardoza looks forward to serving the community.
Choosing to become a police officer — especially these days — is not an easy decision. Its dangerous and demanding nature is enough to scare anyone away, but for Cardoza, becoming a police officer is something he’d wanted to do since he was a child.
“I grew up in El Dorado County and wanted to be a cop since I was in the fifth grade,” said Cardoza. “I just wanted to help people and becoming a cop seemed like a good job because I wanted to positively affect the community.”
Fast forward years later and Cardoza’s ambition turned into fruition as he spent seven years at Placerville as a training officer and a K-9 unit officer as well as time serving in West Sacramento. Eventually, Cardoza began a search for a new community to serve, and Winters’ small-town charm — like it does to so many visitors — drew him in like a magnet. As did the WPD’s impeccable reputation.
“I wanted to perpetuate that professional reputation the WPD has and meet the community. I want to find out what issues the town has and throw my hat in the ring and see if I can help. Recently, I’ve just been getting used to all the procedures since every department is different in how they handle different crimes,” Cardoza said, talking about embodying the WPD’s motto of ‘service with integrity.’ “I didn’t come to Winters on a whim. I did my research before coming here and all I found were positive things about the chief, department and personnel here.”
As the WPD takes pride in their core principles of courage, professionalism, respect, accountability, community-centered and collaboration, so too does Cardoza. A family man through and through, the community’s warmth only reinforced Cardoza’s decision to serve Winters.
“My favorite part being here is just the people. Everybody’s been welcoming and nice and it’s been a good experience,” Cardoza lauded the town’s embrace. “I’m just a family guy. I like to camp, golf, fish and spend time with my family. I’m just looking forward to being able to help Winters.”
To stay up-to-date on all things going on at the police department, one can visit their website at www.winterspolice.org or visit their social media accounts by searching @winterspolice.