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Eduardo Acosta

Episode 111

Serving with Compassion, Walking in Remembrance

Eduardo Acosta began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1997. 

He has worked custody at the Pitchess Detention Center and the Inmate Reception Center. He also worked patrol at Century Station in Lynwood. 

In 2007, Eduardo later transferred to the South Pasadena Police Department. He worked patrol, detectives, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and the West San Gabriel Anti-Crime Task Force. 

The participating agencies in the task force were Pasadena PD, Arcadia PD, Monrovia PD, El Monte PD, Monterey Park PD, Parole Department and South Pasadena PD.

In 2015, Eduardo later transferred to the Pasadena Police Department. There he has worked patrol and the Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation Team (HOPE). The HOPE Team is partnered with a clinician from the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. 

The HOPE Team responds to individuals dealing with a mental health crisis and conduct mental health evaluations. 

The HOPE Team also conducts outreach services for individuals dealing with homelessness. Eduardo enjoys working out, running, and mountain bike riding in the San Gabriel Valley Foothills.

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Eduardo Acosta Quotes

  • “You definitely have to want to learn to have tough skin [in law enforcement] just to talk to people.”
  • “I always just refer to South Pasadena as family, a very small community. You can drive down the street, and you know the neighbors. It’s a really tight community. And I really like that environment.”
  • “You could sit back in your car and wait for calls, but that’s not really that interesting. Or, you can get out there, engage with the community, and find out what’s going on and what their concerns are. I always say the community is our eyes and ears to what’s really going on.”
  • “You could have all the money in the world. You can be the poorest person in the world. Mental health affects everybody. So we take it very seriously. Our team, our police station, our fire department – it could be anybody.”
  • Eduardo Acosta began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1997. 
  • In 2007, Eduardo later transferred to the South Pasadena Police Department.
  • He was part of Pasadena’s first-ever SWAT team.
  • In 2015 he transferred to the Pasadena police department, where he worked on patrol and the Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation Team (HOPE).

What is Eduardo’s connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

Eduardo started his career initially with the sheriff’s department and eventually got hired in South Pasadena.

So, between Pasadena and South Pasadena, Eduardo has been serving the community for about 18 years.

Where is Eduardo Acosta originally from?

Eduardo grew up in Los Angeles. It was actually Eduardo’s uncle that got him involved in the law enforcement career.

He encouraged Eduardo to test in, and he went through Whittier’s Sheriff Academy and did some patrol and custody time there.

Was there anything in Eduardo’s childhood that encouraged him to want to get into a law enforcement career?

To be honest, Eduardo did not think about this career growing up.

He went to college and was just going through life growing up. Even when his uncle told him about the position, he wasn’t sure that he was going to like it.

However, once he applied and got in, he quickly fell in love with his career choice.

Why was Eduardo concerned that he may not like a law enforcement career?

For Eduardo, it was a very new and unexpected journey. He had no idea what the process was going to be like. But, once he started training and saw the work ethic of everyone there, he knew it was a great fit for him.

What was South Pasadena like when Eduardo started compared to now?

Eduardo considers South Pasadena almost as a family – as it is a very small community.

For him, you can drive down the street and know all of the neighbors and be able to identify who is driving through to work or out and about with their family.

It is a tight knit community, and Eduardo loves the environment.

What about Pasadena?

Pasadena is a much larger city. It reminds Eduardo of his time in Los Angeles. It is just a bigger, faster-paced city with more going on.

What did Eduardo do as a young officer while starting out?

Eduardo started out on patrol and then was assigned to the West San Gabriel anti-crime task force.

He often went after burglars or whatever issues were happening in the city.

SWAT vehicle with Eduardo Acosta

What was it like serving swat?

Eduardo Acosta liked it; it was actually on his bucket list. He enjoyed the training. If you couldn’t tell, Eduardo is pretty big on training and enjoys the process.

Fun fact: Eduardo’s team was actually the first SWAT team in Pasadena’s history.

Aside from weapons and tactics, Eduardo learned CPR, de-escalation methods, and medical assistance training during his time in SWAT.

What is a HOPE officer?

A HOPE officer is part of the Homeless Outreach Psychological Evaluation team. Essentially, they are first responders and work with the County Department of Mental Health.

The individual from the County Department of Mental Health rides along with the HOPE officers and may offer psychological evaluation.

Currently, there are three officers on the HOPE team in LA County.

How did Eduardo become a HOPE officer?

Eduardo was asked by one of the former team members because she was rotating out of it. Eduardo asked a couple of questions about how the team was run and he was instantly interested in it.

What is the homeless situation currently like in Pasadena?

There are a lot of different teams and organizations that HOPE works with to ensure as many people are receiving the help they need as possible.

There are certain rules that a homeless individual must follow to receive help in Pasadena, but if they need help, HOPE is 100% on board with whatever they need – including housing.

Is Eduardo properly trained for situations with the homeless?

There is general training that Eduardo took, but there are additional classes he claims you can take that cover autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more.

How serious is mental illness?

It is incredibly serious because it could affect anyone. Whether you’re incredibly successful, have a great support system, or have all the money in the world – it doesn’t mean that you can’t suffer from mental illness or have suicidal thoughts.

Picture of Eduardo Acosta

Eduardo Acosta

The San Gabriel Valley Mountain Foothills

Walking around and rollerblading near the Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl Parade