Det. Andy Pinvidic

Auto Theft Detective

Westminster Police Department

“I handle all investigations that relate to vehicle theft and vehicle burglary in Westminster.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Auto Theft Detective

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of HELPING PEOPLE and the interests of ARMED SERVICES and GOVERNMENT.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

If there's somebody that I've identified as a prolific car thief, a great day would involve me and my partners locating and arresting them, and then hopefully obtaining some kind of confession or statement that's going to help the prosecution hold this person accountable for their crimes. I also really enjoy the excitement of putting together the operations that catch these criminals, which we usually set up by studying their habits and using bait cars to sting them.

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

You have to be a team player, you have to be able to multitask, you need to be self-motivated, and you need to be organized. A lot of what we do is common sense, but it's not necessarily just having street smarts; rather, you need a wealth of life experiences that can help you in the field. You have to be a compassionate, ethical person who doesn't just look at the law as black and white, but instead sees the problems at hand and wants to solve those problems in ways that will benefit everyone.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Auto Theft Detective

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Associate's Degree / Some College
  • Undergraduate - Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
  • Graduate - Organizational Leadership

What I studied STRONGLY RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School -
  • Associate's Degree / Some College - Coastline Community College
  • Undergraduate - Union University, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
  • Graduate - Brandman University, Organizational Leadership

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN COLLEGE

You pretty much have to have a college education to be considered in the police force because it's so competitive now. You don't necessarily need a criminal justice degree, but any degree is better than none. Aside from that, your first step should be doing your research and finding out what the job is really about. That can mean volunteering at your local police department, going on ride-alongs, etc. It's not the job that you see on TV, so get in there and see if it's right for you.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM MYSELF

“I can't succeed at this.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

Even though I've had a great support system throughout my life, that negative voice is always there, trying to hold me back or making excuses as to why I shouldn't pursue a new challenge or opportunity. But I've decided that failure's okay as long as I put aside my fears and try new things. This new perspective has led me to do amazing things, like get my master's degree, and coach my daughter's soccer and son's football teams. At the end of my life, I want to have left everything on the field.

Service Background and Insight

What branch of the military did you serve in?

Marine Corps

When did you complete active military service (ETS)? Please specify the year (YYYY).

2005

What is the highest rank you reached while in the service?

Sergeant

What are some tips you would recommend for someone transitioning into civilian life?

Have a plan and be focused on a goal. Try not to have a lag time; figure out what you're going to do when you get out and start getting that set up as far as a year out.

As many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war. Have you experienced PTSD, combat stress, or TBI as a result of your service?

N/A

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