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Servant Leaders in Action: Public Services

Character, the Foundation of Public Trust

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Photo - Jim AndersonChief of Police for the city of Placentia, Jim Anderson (MFT ’92, B.A. ’85), began in law enforcement 30 years ago with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. He came to Orange County in 1980 and worked his way up to Chief of Police for the City of Placentia. Along with doing his best to make the city of Placentia “the safest city in Orange County”, Chief Anderson is a family man, serves at his church, and is a licensed therapist.

Check out this interview with Chief Anderson.

What are some of the values you developed during your time at Hope that have stayed with you?
“The value of character was instilled in every class and every professor. There is a standard of character that you have to live your life by. I also gained the value of leadership and have grown to value involvement in the community and the church. We should always be giving back what the Lord has provided for us.”

When asked about the benefits of a Hope education, Anderson described the personalized education that Hope is known for:
“My experience here is that every faculty member at Hope becomes a mentor. When you’re operating in a classroom setting where there is enough time for individual questions and clarifications on issues, and when you can ask a professor questions during or after class and have them give you one on one attention – that’s where the learning process really expands.”

When asked about how Hope prepared him for his career, Anderson explained:
“In preparing for a leadership position in law enforcement, it’s highly competitive. There are standards and prerequisites to be considered. I found in my career that at every step of advancement you had to compete against men and women who were just as qualified as you. There are prerequisites that are set out to even make it to the interview phase, and when I applied, the minimum requirement was a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree was preferred. My graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy qualified me for this position and it made all the difference.”

What is the meaning of the term “Servant Leader”?
“A Servant Leader is not leading for himself or his own glory, but for the people who are following. He is trying to not only reach the goal, but to reach the goal without leaving dead bodies behind. Barbaric leaders tend to just reach the goal and it’s all about them. For servant leaders, it’s about what the goal really represents, and that is the furtherance of the kingdom of Christ. And for me, it’s all about making my city – the city of Placentia – the safest city in Orange County.”

What does an employer get from a Hope graduate?
“Several of my current employees are Hope graduates. In going through their background files and seeing that they have a degree from Hope, I know the standard of commitment it took them to get through their programs. They’re not just handing out degrees here. You have to actually do the work and study and be tested, and achieve a level of excellence in your personal discipline. That is what employers are looking for; somebody who is going to be on time, who is not going to flake on you, who is not going to steal from you, who is going to be there to do what you need them to do. Everyone I’ve ever hired from Hope has delivered.”

Why should one attend Hope?
“It’s the quality of education, and it’s also the social aspect. Students come here and make lifelong friends with people that have the same interests that they have. This is the time in life where they set the direction of their lives. What better place to do that than at a Christ-centered university?”