Lt. Ojo, center, delivered the commencement address.

Lt. John Ojo, center, delivered the commencement address for the Safe Communities Leadership program.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications

In May, more than two dozen law enforcement agencies completed the USC Safe Communities Leadership program. The 10-day, semester-style course teaches a holistic approach to public safety, according to the organization. The course runs over several months.

The class commencement speech was given by Correctional Lt. John Ojo, who serves at California State Prison (CSP), Solano.

“He brought great honor and respect to our profession as he spoke of CDCR as a collaborative partner in our commitment to maintaining safe communities,” said fellow CDCR classmate Correctional Capt. Joe Stewart, from CSP-Sacramento. “As I stood behind the Chief of LAPD, Assistant Director of Homeland Security and the Deputy Chief of CHP, I was amazed to watch John and his ability to address these community partners. … As I stood there, I was filled with a great sense of CDCR pride.”

According to Capt. Stewart, Lt. Ojo’s speech was inspirational.

“I’m proud of the way he represented all of the executive leadership and our department,” Stewart said. “I’m proud of the valuable role we play in public safety and extremely proud to be a member of the most professional correctional agency in the entire country. We are CDCR proud and at the graduation, we had another chance to show it.”

Lt. Ojo said he was proud to be selected to speak to the class.

“The whole leadership program inspired me. I really saw how CDCR is taking an active role in change,” he said. “At the program we were dealing with a whole lot of different agencies and I learned how I could take a lot of this information and use it back at the institution.”

While he’s done public speaking in the past, he said this time was different.

“There were a lot of important people in the audience and I was a little nervous but I felt extremely energized,” Lt. Ojo said. “It was one of those opportunities that was life changing in my career at this point.”

What did he get out of the leadership program?

“I met a lot of different contacts,” he said. “And I learned about value-driven leadership which is aligning the values you have in your life and living those values on a daily basis and being open to different possibilities. It’s about challenging people around you to think outside the box.”

(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)

Learn more about the course,