Omar Landeros was raised by immigrant parents from Mexico who always taught him to work hard and work the right way.
He shared how the family lived in the high crime area of Watts, California, for a couple of years during his childhood but, through hard work, was able to move to the safer community of South Gate, California. There, the family lived a better life and received better opportunities, one of which was the ability for Landeros to attend college.
He enrolled at California State University Dominguez Hills, where he studied criminal justice for three years. However, at that time, California colleges were overcrowded, and he still hadn’t gotten into his core classes for the criminal justice program. Landeros also played soccer two years at the collegiate level and wanted to continue.
“One day, my wife (at that time my girlfriend) had a family gathering, and a cousin mentioned a university in Kansas,” he said. “She mentioned how the school was small compared to the schools here, but still had the university look and feel to it. I looked up the school online and began to do my research.”
Landeros quickly discovered Newman University had a criminal justice program and a soccer team, so he submitted his application.
“One day as I was waiting for a class, I received a call from Dr. Larry Heck at Newman,” Landeros shared. “He sounded so excited to go over a plan he had set up so I could graduate with a criminal justice degree in two years. I was hooked, and I knew I wanted to make the move to Newman. I also made contact with former men’s soccer team head coach Cliff Brown, and I was able to join the soccer team.”
Landeros graduated from Newman in May 2014 with a degree in criminal justice, after which he returned home to Los Angeles and married his wife, Jazmin, in December 2014. A few months later, they welcomed their first child, Scarlett.
Landeros, who was inspired to become a police officer by the individuals who would patrol his school growing up, then began applying to various law enforcement agencies. By May 2016, he was hired as a police officer by the Los Angeles School Police Department. He was sent to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy, where he successfully completed his peace officer certification.
In June 2019, he and his wife purchased their home in Downey, California, and welcomed their second child, Julian, in February 2021.
Today, Landeros serves as a field training officer for the Los Angeles School Police Department — a position that opened up as the department tries to grow in order to provide additional support to the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“So far, I enjoy being able to teach and share all the knowledge I have been able to obtain through life and work experiences,” he said. “I take great pride in shaping the new police officer trainees so they can properly serve the people in the community.”
Throughout Landeros’s successful journey thus far, many people have made an impact on him, including his parents, his high school coaches and his wife.
“Since day one, she has always supported me during the tough times I have had while attempting to reach our goals,” he said. “She never criticizes my mistakes, and every accomplishment I have achieved has been because of her.”
Landeros also mentioned Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Fort.
“Every criminal justice class I had with her has assisted me tremendously in my career,” he said. “The knowledge and experience she provided during that time gave me the ability to comprehend the job duties I have faced from day one as a police officer.”
Earn a criminal justice degree
The study of criminal justice at Newman University prepares students to transform society.