From June 21, 1991 until October 14, 1998 (7 years, 4 months, and 24 days) Officer Jim Wagner worked as a full-time, paid, sworn, police officer for the Costa Mesa Police Department ending with the rank of corporal and obtaining his Intermediate POST Certificate Municipal Police (this certificate requires 5 years as a full-time police officer and a certain amount of hours in Advanced Officer Training). Then from October 14, 1998 until March 11, 1999 Officer Wagner served as a Reserve Level 1 Police Officer (4 months and 28 days). Thus, he served as a police officer for almost eight years.
During these years on the force Officer Wagner made numerous felony and misdemeanor arrests, conducted field investigations (robberies, theft, domestic violence, sexual assault, burglaries, assault, fraud, drug possession and sales, illegal weapons, child abuse, drunk driving, etc.) transportation of prisoners, traffic enforcement, gang suppression (Varrio Little Town and Shalimar street gangs), and called to riot duty twice. Officer Wagner has been involved in several vehicle pursuits, homicide crime scene security, bomb searches and evacuations, searching for lost children, hostage rescue, surveillance, police escort of rapper Tupac Shakur, warrant service, prostitution suppression, city infractions, and other related crimes.
On July 12, 1996 Officer Wagner was awarded the Costa Mesa Police Department’s Life Saving Award for performing CPR on a heart attack victim who survived without any permanent damage. Police Chief Dave Snowden issued an Inter Office Memorandum which states, “Your actions were indeed heroic and I am very proud of you. You will be honored at this year’s Officer of the Year Luncheon.”
On October 14, 1998 Corporal Jim Wagner resigned from the Costa Mesa Police Department in order to build his company HSS International, Inc. “I was starting to get some offers to teach internationally, my company was growing, and I was burning the candle at both ends. I couldn’t keep up anymore so I got out of full-time law enforcement and went into full-time teaching. However, being a cop was in my blood and I did not want to leave it all together, so I became a Reserve officer” Jim said.
On March 10, 1999 Officer Wagner resigned and left the department. He then applied at the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The Lateral Transfer application process took 11 months due to the large volume of applicants and few background investigators.
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