Location: Tulare County Sheriff's Office

Incident Date: 1/9/17

Incident Time: 0830 hours

City: Visalia

Posted by: Media Relations

Sheriff swears in second Pathways Scholarship Recipient as Deputy Sheriff Trainee

Sheriff Mike Boudreaux swore in his second Pathways Scholarship recipient Jan. 9, 2017 as a Deputy Sheriff Trainee along with four Deputies, five Correctional Deputies and one Senior Accounting Clerk.

The new Deputy Sheriff Trainee, Hector Negrete, became acquainted with the Sheriff’s Office when he was a boy in the Sheriff’s PAL Program. From there, he became an Explorer.

Sheriff Boudreaux started the Pathways Scholarship program three years ago as a way to encourage Explorers to go to college and become Deputies. The goal is to put local youth back in their hometown communities as Sheriff’s Deputies after graduation from college and training in the police academy.

“I’m very proud of the program,” Sheriff Boudreaux said. “It creates stake holders in the community and in the department.”

Funding for the scholarship program is through the Sence Foundation. Standing next to the Sheriff during the swearing-in ceremony Monday was Sence Foundation President Kim Oviatt. He recalled Negrete’s oral exam for the Pathways Scholarship.

“[Hector] was a great interview,” he said. “Congratulations, Hector, and good luck.”

Negrete, 20, of Earlimart, was born in Delano and raised in Earlimart. He’s the oldest son in a family of five children which grew to nine children when his parents took in his four younger cousins. His father is an Ag mechanic and his mother is a homemaker.

As a youngster, Negrete followed his older sister’s footsteps and became an Explorer. He achieved the rank of Captain. 

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Negrete said. “As an Explorer, I could start giving back to my community.” 

He’s a familiar face around the southern part of the county because, as a Sheriff’s Explorer, he volunteered in the communities of Pixley, Tipton and Earlimart. 

“People say hi to me by name,” he said. “It feels good to have people treat me with respect because I treat them with respect.”

Negrete graduated from Delano High School in 2014.

He will be the first person in his family to get a college degree. He said that he decided to go to college because Sheriff Boudreaux motivated him to apply for a Pathways Scholarship.

“I wanted to become a deputy,” he said. “I would’ve done almost anything to get hired.”

Negrete finishes his requirements for an associate’s degree in Business Administration later this month at San Joaquin Valley College in Visalia. He begins his training at the College of the Sequoias Police Academy in February.

After graduation from the police academy, he’ll be assigned to the Pixley Substation.

Negrete said it’s a dream come true to be hired at the Sheriff’s Office. 

“I would like to thank all of my mentors at the Sheriff’s Office and my parents who raised us to be good, humble and honest people,” he said.

One of those mentors, Lt. Harold Liles, Jr., is the station commander at the Pixley Substation. He said it’s nice to see Explorers who have invested in the community come back to work for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

“He’s a real sharp man with a bright future,” he said.

In September, the first Pathways Scholarship recipient, Jasmine Orozco, was sworn in as a Deputy Sheriff Trainee. After she graduates from the police academy later this month, she’ll be promoted to Deputy I and assigned to the Cutler/Orosi Substation.

Info: Students, ages 14-21, are eligible to become Sheriff’s Explorers. They receive training in police radio procedures, patrol operations, crime scene investigations, traffic enforcement, arrests, search and seizure, emergency first aid and more. And they volunteer in the community by assisting with parking, informational booths and community events. For more information, contact Dep. Ixchel Franks at (559) 636-4695.