Garden Grove reservist graduates top of class at Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department academy

By Lou Ponsi

Selfless service. Putting others first. Holding oneself accountable. Faith in God. Setting an example. A tenacious work ethic.

These are the tenets by which Garden Grove Police Department Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba lives his life.

His achievements and accolades are numerous.

Ojeisekhoba had the distinction of leading his class and two other classes in a combined graduation ceremony last week at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Officers Training Academy.

The Nigeria native, 45, received top scores for academics, physical training and leadership and is believed to be among the few non-LASD recruits to lead a graduating class into the ceremony.

He also was chosen to deliver the graduation address in front of fellow graduates, top LASD brass, including Sheriff Jim McDonnell, and about 300 spectators.

“I just put in my best and that is it,” said Ojeisekhoba, who serves as chief of campus safety for Biola University, a private Christian college in La Mirada. “It’s been a lot of work for many, many, many months. I leave everything out there.”

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba leads his class, and two additional academy classes, into a combined LASD academy graduation ceremony.  Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba leads his class, and two additional academy classes, into a combined LASD academy graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Officers and staff from Biola, GGPD personnel, and Ojeisekhoba’s wife and five children all turned out for the graduation.

“Everybody loves John so we wanted to come out and support him,” GGPD Lt. Bob Bogue said. “He is one of the friendliest guys in the police department. What an honor for him to be the class speaker, lead the class and win all these awards.”

Ojeisekhoba has now completed the three levels of training necessary to qualify as a sworn officer anywhere in the state.

When he completes GGPD’s 200-hour Level 1 training program, he’ll be on the same level as any full time officer, Bogue said.

“Then he can work on his own,” he said. “He can work a full shift just like a regular officer.”

Ojeisekhoba faced added challenges while in the academy, too.

He sustained an Achilles tendon and knee injuries.

Ojeisekhoba’s wife also became ill and was unable to work for months, requiring him to take on more responsibility in caring for their five children.

“He is very dedicated,” his wife said. “He just strives to do his best at everything he does … He wants to be an example to his children and everyone he works for.”

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba prepares for inspection at the start of LASD Level 1 academy class No. 135 graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba prepares for inspection at the start of LASD Level 1 academy class No. 135 graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

A former world-class long jumper, Ojeisekhoba grew up as one of 19 children in a humble household in Nigeria.

Ojeisekhoba’s late father, Moses, served as police chief of the Nigerian state of Kwara and also served as his main inspiration.

It took Ojeisekhoba six tries to finally be granted a visa to immigrate to the U.S. He was rejected the first five times.

In his graduation speech, Ojeisekhoba encouraged his fellow graduates to “be diligent and professional in acts and deeds.”

He stressed the importance of working to earn the public trust and holding each other accountable.

“And in doing this we will wear our badge with honor, with the full understanding that the badge transcends well beyond us,” he said. “It represents, not just our department, (but) the thousands of law enforcement personnel that came before us. We will not let them down.”

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, left, takes the oath with the rest of his LASD Level 1 academy class during a graduation ceremony at the LA Sheriff Department's Biscailuz Training Academy. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, left, takes the oath with the rest of his LASD Level 1 academy class during a graduation ceremony at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, left, and Garden Grove PD Capt. Kevin Boddy, right, present GGPD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba an award for achieving top scores in physical training, academics, leadership and other areas at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, left, and Garden Grove PD Capt. Kevin Boddy, right, present GGPD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba an award for achieving top scores in physical training, academics, leadership and other areas at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a speech after receiving top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a speech after receiving top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a speech after receiving top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a speech after receiving top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduating class is dismissed for the last time at the end of the graduation ceremony. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduating class is dismissed for the last time at the end of the graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduating class that includes Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, back row center, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, front row center, and Garden Grove PD Captain Kevin Boddy, front row far right. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduating class that includes Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, back row center, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, front row center, and Garden Grove PD Captain Kevin Boddy, front row far right.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a big smile at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives a big smile at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba congratulates his classmates at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba congratulates his classmates at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives some of his kids a hug at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba gives some of his kids a hug at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with Biola University Campus Safety officers who came to see him graduate at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy. Ojeisekhoba also serves at the Biola University Chief of Campus Safety. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with Biola University Campus Safety officers who came to see him graduate at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy. Ojeisekhoba also serves at the Biola University Chief of Campus Safety.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with his wife Heidi and fellow Garden Grove Police officers, behind them, after graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with his wife Heidi and fellow Garden Grove Police officers, behind them, after graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba’s extended family at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation ceremony. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba’s extended family at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy graduation ceremony.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba receives hugs from Garden Grove PD officers at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba receives hugs from Garden Grove PD officers at the end of LASD graduation ceremonies.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with GGPD officers who came to see him graduate at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba with GGPD officers who came to see him graduate at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD officers present Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, right, with a special police baton after graduating with top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD officers present Garden Grove PD Reserve Officer John Ojeisekhoba, right, with a special police baton after graduating with top honors at the LA Sheriff Department’s Biscailuz Training Academy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC