LCCC graduate Daniel Ortiz follows his passion for community service into the college’s police academy

Daniel Ortiz grew up in Lorain with a respect for discipline and a heart for helping his community. He hopes to one day serve his hometown as a police officer. 

“I see officers that are part of the community in Lorain, and I have a lot of respect for that,” Ortiz said. “I feel a duty to the city of Lorain and I’d be honored to one day serve them as an officer.”  

To reach his goal, Ortiz, 21, enrolled in the Lorain County Community College Police Academy. To help cover the cost of the program, he applied and was selected to receive the Benjamin G. and Sarah Jane Norton Police Academy Scholarship. Ortiz is the first cadet to receive the scholarship. 

“I feel so blessed to receive this scholarship,” Ortiz said. “It has taken a huge weight off my shoulders, knowing my program is paid for.” 

Ortiz, who graduated from Lorain High School in 2019, has always known he wanted a career working with people and helping others in his community. After graduating with his high school diploma as well as an associate of arts degree from LCCC through College Credit Plus, he attended The Ohio State University to major in a pre-medical pathway.  

“I thought a medical career was how I could make a difference, but I found out pretty quickly that I didn’t have a passion for it,” he said. 

He switched his major to criminology in early 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic hit Ohio in March 2020, he found himself struggling with the change to online classes, living at home and the lack of in-person support. He made the tough decision to transfer his skills elsewhere when he became a real estate agent. Ortiz went on to sell $3 million worth of real estate within his first year as an agent. 

Although Ortiz had a successful career within arms’ reach, he quickly noticed his lack of passion in his work. This was all destined to change when Ortiz connected with an old friend who brought up the idea of joining the police academy. 

“And then I saw an ad for the LCCC Police Academy. I knew it was time that I jump in and go for it,” he recalled. 

Ortiz began the police academy program in May and immediately knew he had found his calling. He has found he thrives on the intense schedule of the academy, which includes classroom and tactical training, as well as physical fitness.  

“I love that it’s rigorous and all-consuming. It really tests every aspect of your character,” Ortiz said. 

Ortiz’s commitment and professionalism quickly caught the attention of LCCC Police Academy Commander Richard Thomas. 

“From the outset, it was clear that Cadet Ortiz had a passion to serve, to give back to his community,” Thomas said. “He is dedicated, hardworking, respectful and intelligent. I believe he will make a fine police officer and will serve with distinction.” 

Outside of the academy, Ortiz has a strong support system that extends to his mother, father, girlfriend, and even the other cadets in his class. His father has been able to provide a unique level of support through the academy. 

“My dad used to be a corrections officer, so he has been able to help me out a lot mentally with this program,” he said. 

Ortiz and the current cohort of police academy cadets are on track to complete the program in fall 2022. After that, Ortiz is hopeful he may find work at his hometown police department, Lorain. 

“Lorain is my home. I feel a duty to serve them and give back,” Ortiz said. 

“I feel a duty to the city of Lorain and I’d be honored to one day serve them as an officer.”
Daniel Ortiz, LCCC graduate and police academy cadet

LCCC Police Academy Named a STAR Police Training Academy

STAR Academy Training Center SealLorain County Community College Police Academy is now a STAR Academy Training Center, the top designation for Ohio police academies. The STAR Academy Training Center program, designed by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC), sets criteria that has been identified as factors in high-quality training. 

“Great police work starts with proper training,” Ohio Attorney Dave Yost says. “The LCCC Police Academy embodies the gold standard training that other academies should strive to achieve.” 

Now in its 20th year, the LCCC Police Academy has graduated more than 670 well-trained officers, with the majority finding employment with local law enforcement agencies.