I am forever grateful that the City of Los Angeles provides opportunities for the youth of LA to gain leadership, organizing and advocacy skills such as the Mayors Youth Council which is a ‘one eyear program for Los Angeles high school students to promote civic engagement and inspire the next generation of civic leaders. The Youth Council empowers members to advocate for causes relevant to Angeleno youth while giving them a voice in City Hall.’
3 and a half years have passed since I joined MYC starting off in the East/NorthEast LA cohort because my school was in that area, I switched to the South Los Angeles cohort junior year since that’s where I live and am now in the Central LA cohort since I transferred schools from East LA to Central LA. This past month the Central LA MYC meeting took place at the Olympic Division police station off of Vermont and 11th, we were given the rare opportunity to really explore the station and the officers who work there. We were given a tour and had a group conversation with Los Angeles Police Department Officer, Joe Cirrito, Cirrito is not just an officer, he is a hero and I’ll tell you why in a second.
The New York City Native, Cirrito always wanted to be an officer to protect and serve his country but instead, he was educating the youth as a school teacher in the Bronx. When the devastating tragedy of 9/11, occurred Cirrito made a decision that day which changed his life forever. Cirrito, had known the fallen officers and firefighters that risked thier life and died to save others. So from that day on Joe knew he had to something, so he became a police officer, in Los Angeles to protect and serve.
He has been an officer for over 17 years, and is an avid runner for a great cause. He trains for marathons and in 2016 ran 400 miles, all the way from Los Angeles to Sacremento, CA in full police gear this run aimed to raise funds for families of fallen officers through ‘Project Endure, a volunteer project which is dedicated to raising awareness about fallen officers’ This milestone made news all across the state. He ran 13.1 miles in uniform during the inaugural “Run to Remember” and 26.2 miles in the Los Angeles Marathon in 2016. Cirrito also runs to raise money for Homeless Angelenos through the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority.
When Cirrito spoke, his passion and love for officers all around the country showed. He got teary-eyed when telling us about fallen officers he knew and strives every day to honor those brave men and women. Mayors Youth Council students asked questions and Cirrito answered each one with honesty and understanding, telling the students how important it is as an officer to “never take your bed to work” and “have a clear head at work” he emphasized on the importance that since 1972 the LAPD’S municipal role in immigration is to NOT judge on immigration status. He firmly believes that every single person in this country deserves freedom and liberty. Cirrito is one of those people that you meet and can tell off the spot that they are a kind, caring person. He develops a positive giving relationship with the community, no matter what age, race homeless or not, he will know your name and you’ll know him because of the ginormous impact he has made on peoples lives.
I am so grateful to have met and listened to Officer Joe Cirrito speak and I hope to meet more people like him throughout my life.