By: Erika Vroom, Informant Editor – The Official Publication of San Diego Police Officers Association March 2020.
It is commonly said that if you’re passionate about what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. While many police officers often focus their time on their career and their family, there are some who are fortunate enough to find even more to be passionate about and more ways to give back. San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) Officer Garrett Trainor has focused his passions in a few different directions. He hopes to not only protect and serve, but to also help make a difference in the lives of those who may need a helping hand.
Garrett was raised in sunny San Diego, California. He attended Poway High School and spent much of his time focused on becoming a police officer. He first became interested in law enforcement as a young child thanks to the ever-popular crime television show “The First 48.” In high school, Garrett was so passionate about the law enforcement career that he made it the topic of his senior project. He went to the extent of interviewing police officers, going to a gun range to practice his shot, and participating in a ride-along. After high school, Garrett attended college at the University of San Diego where he graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Business, making him a first-generation college graduate. Inspired by his studies at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, he decided to get his real estate license and became a realtor for two years prior to applying for SDPD. “I liked what I did and I liked helping people, but I truly wanted to be a cop.” Thus, after being hired on with SDPD in 2015, Garrett dove into law enforcement to pursue his childhood dream.
Garrett loves the various communities that make up the City of San Diego and wanted to stay local to make an impact. During the application process for law enforcement, he knew that SDPD would be his first choice. He began his career at Northwestern, before going to Western division. It was at that point that he decided to apply for SWAT. Garrett successfully made his way through the SWAT Academy and is actively on the SWAT Team. When asked how SWAT differs from what he learned going into a patrol position, Garrett notes, “SWAT builds on a lot of the department’s basic training. It takes the concepts that are learned on patrol and expands on them so that they can be applied to more specific situations.” The most rewarding part of his career is when he has a chance to, “help someone who genuinely needs it…and not only needs it, but appreciates it.” It is most impactful when those in need appreciate what an officer has done to help them.
While Garrett keeps himself busy as the owner of First Line Realty, an officer at NPD, and a SWAT member, he spends a lot of his time off duty working on a project that he describes as his “passion project.” The way that Garrett best explains this project is as a merging of his passions: law enforcement and real estate. After becoming immersed in in his work as a first responder, he saw firsthand the sacrifices families made in order to work on the field. “Since the beginning of my time on [SDPD], I’ve seen so many people who give away parts of themselves to this job… Community members don’t always see the shift work and the sacrifices that an officer makes for their family and for their children in order to provide for the household,” Garrett explains. These men and women surrounding him became his family, and his passion has now evolved to go beyond his career in law enforcement and real estate by giving back to his local community. Garrett found a way that he could do something to help out not only his fellow officers, but his fellow first responders. He created a local non-profit charity, One Line Foundation. One Line Foundation is dedicated to providing financial aid to families of first responders working in San Diego County through educational scholarships, mental and physical health assistance, and memorial funds. Garrett wants to give San Diego an outlet to acknowledge the work he sees first responders do every day. There are countless national organizations that do outstanding charitable work for first responders across the country. However, One Line Foundation seeks to create a connection between our neighborhoods and the men and women serving these communities. In addition, the charity strives to acknowledge the daily hardships and obstacles many first responders experience, even when everything “goes right.” One Line Foundation aspires to act proactively and not wait for a tragedy to occur to make a difference.
Garrett is confident that he can make a positive impact on others. To prove his passion and dedication to the fund, Garrett takes a portion of each of his real estate commissions and donates it back One Line Foundation. His primary goal for 2020 is to provide educational scholarships to children of first responders. The deadline to apply to the scholarship is May 1, 2020. As a first-generation college graduate who was able to attend USD because of numerous scholarships, this program is close to his heart. More information regarding One Line Foundation can be found on their website http://one- linefoundation.com or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Garrett’s passions drive his day-to-day. He is truly working towards everything he believes in. By giving back to those who work so diligently to keep the community wellness and safety as their top priority, Garrett is excited to partner with our local community to be the positive impact on the future and welfare of San Diego, the place we call home.