By Miriam Raftery May 2, 2009 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Police Chief Pat Sprecco was inducted into the Grossmont College “Walk of Fame” yesterday at a ceremony in which he was honored by Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (photo) and other local leaders. Sprecco, a 1976 graduate of Grossmont, praised his fellow police officers, then revealed that he drew inspiration from his parents--who were both law enforcement officers.
"All of the accomplishments that we are able to achieve are really a collective effort,” said Sprecco, who drew praise for his leadership on the force. But he added, “It all started with Mom and Dad, who had 14 children. My father was in the phone company, he’d worked his way up, and then decided he’d go into law enforcement. Mom said `Sounds like fun. I’ll do that do.’”
His father became a police officer and his mother served as a reserve deputy sheriff, also going through Grossmont’s academy for law enforcement training. “They tried to get home before 10 p.m. so they could watch the cop shows on TV,” he recalled, adding that he’d often wake up to find his mother had been called away to guard a prisoner. “In the morning, there she’d be with her gun and handcuffs—she’s really a sweet demure person, though she does have this other side,” he quipped, leading Supervisor Dianne Jacob to jest that he could have a career as a stand-up comic if he ever tires of police work. Sprecco followed in his parents’ footsteps and attended Grossmont’s academy, also serving as a campus security officer. Other members of his family are also in law enforcement locally.
Sheriff Bill Kolender called Sprecco a “rags to riches” story. “He started out washing police cars,” Kolender asid, adding that Sprecco is a “fine man and outstanding police chief.”
Congressman Hunter (R-Alpine), also a Grossmont College graduate, praised Sprecco as well. “It’s really important to those of us in the veterans and military community, when we are away or working far away, not to worry about who is taking care of our community back home,” he concluded.
Grossmont College Foundation executive director Erenest Ewin unveiled a bronze plaque bearing a winged griffin, the campus symbol, for the Walk of Fame. Located in the main quad area on campus, the Walk of Fame has inducted 18 honorees since its inception in 1989. Prior alumni who have been honored in the Walk of Fame have included medical researchers, political advocates, artists, athletes and community leaders.