Behind the Badge -- Officer Adam Cordova
Hola, mi nombre es Adam Ezequiel Cordova. I am a proud Arizona native and for the last nine years I have had the great honor of serving the City of Tempe as a police officer with my most recent assignment in the Special Victims Unit. I have been happily married to my high school sweetheart for 16 years and we have two wonderful boys.
How One Act of Kindness Changed my Perspective on Police
My path to become an officer was not quick. In all honesty, for many years during my early childhood I feared police, as they reminded me too much like immigration, which was a constant fear in the immigrant community I was raised in. That all changed my kindergarten year. After a serious dog bite, I remember my parents rushing me to Maricopa County Hospital. On the way my mother ran a red light and was spotted by a Phoenix motorcycle officer. As he attempted a traffic stop, my mother refused to pull over. With my father yelling in Spanish to stop or she would be arrested, she finally stopped. As the officer approached, still wearing his shiny helmet, my mother could only say in her broken English, “Hospital, County, County.” The officer took one look at me and motioned to my mother to follow him to Maricopa County Hospital.
My Journey to Becoming a Police Officer
It is amazing how one experience can have a lasting impact on us. That officer’s simple act of kindness destroyed any fear I had of police and I began to view them as guardians. It was at that moment I knew one day I would become a cop, but after I obtained my education. After graduating from Arizona State University School of Social Work with my MSW I worked at DCS for seven years, but that little voice inside was always reminding me about my dream of becoming a police officer. In 2011, with the support of my wife, I decided to pursue my dream. My family’s support was crucial as this career can be very difficult on not only the officer, but on their family as well.
My focus as an officer has been to treat all with dignity and respect. Today, as a country and quite frankly the world, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in history. As the world demands social justice and equality, we as law enforcement are uniquely positioned to be part of the solution. To my brave brothers and sisters, we must first begin to recognize our own implicit biases, individually and collectively. When we allow ourselves to be honest about our historical shortcomings as a profession, we open the door for true communication. In order to break down the walls of division, we must first listen before we are understood. When our children and great grandchildren look back at this moment in time, they will know we stood on the right side of history. Stay safe hermanos y hermanas.