BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry Police Officer Jason Trujillo joined the police department on Dec. 9. Trujillo enters law enforcement after 21 years of service in the U.S. Navy aboard a submarine.
“I grew up in Humboldt County, California, and joined the Navy right out of high school,” said Trujillo. “I spent my first tour in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which was pretty nice.”
From there, he spent about 20 years on the East Coast, retiring in 2013, before going to work for the shipyard out there as a Quality Assurance Engineer.
“Basically sitting at a desk and getting fat,” Trujillo said with a chuckle. “I went from being very, very active to being stagnant and super stressed out. No one likes Quality because we tell them to stop work because they aren’t doing it right.”
Trujillo felt like he was missing the joy in his life, but he found it when he came to Boundary County to visit family.
“I saw the mountains, saw everything out here, and I was just like, you know what, this is where I want to be,” said Trujillo.
Trujillo moved out here last April and met up with Bonners Ferry Police Sergeant Willie Cowell, who put a bug in his ear about joining the local police department. Trujillo followed up by becoming a reserve officer for the Bonners Ferry Police Department, and then attended the North Idaho College Basic Patrol Academy, graduating Dec. 7.
Trujillo brings a positive outlook to his new job, as well as a newfound love of this community and his love for people in general.
“This is my home now,” explained Trujillo. “I am planting roots here. This is my community, so whatever I can do to make it safe, and to make everybody feel safe; and make us— as Bonners Ferry Police— approachable. This is our town and we want our town to think of us their police.”
Trujillo explains that he likes people and doesn’t like to see them in bad situations. He hopes that his job will allow him to make that transition for someone a little easier.
“Our job is pretty thankless most of the time and we are not there for good things most of the time,” said Trujillo. “We are there when people are in their worst situations. That is when they call us. Whatever I can do to make that transition easier, or get that situation rectified, and have them be more comfortable.”
“I absolutely love this job. You never know what your shift is going to be like,” explained Trujillo. “You help someone cross a street, you help someone out of the ice, you help someone jumpstart a car, or you go an arrest on a warrant, you never know what is going to happen. To me, the interaction with people is the best part.”
When Trujillo is not working, he likes to spend his time outdoors, exploring and enjoying his newfound home. Previously, he has always lived near an ocean and is an avid scuba diver and surfer, although he has found a new way to enjoy the water.
“Floating the rivers is great,” he said. ‘That was a lot of fun in the summertime. Basically anything with water I am OK with, and floating the river is about as good as it can get.”
Trujillo also loves the woods and enjoys going for walks.
“I am finding a really good passion for horn hunting, which I never knew was a thing,” he said.
“There was not a lot of opportunity to do these kinds of things on a submarine,” said Trujillo. “I never really was a hunter but I think I could enjoy it, at least accompanying to be a pack mule, to enjoy the walks in the woods and stuff like that.”
Trujillo’s passion for people, the community, and his new job, are evident.
“I love the community and I am glad to be a part of it. This is my home now. I hope I do right by it in the best way that I can,” said Trujillo. “Look out the window… this is great… you cannot beat this. You have the bald eagles flying around, or the elk and deer just walking through your yard. You can’t beat this.”
Bonners Ferry Police Chief Brian Zimmerman is also enthusiastic about the new member to his team.
“With Jason’s life experience in addition to retiring from the Navy as a ‘Chief Petty Officer’, he brings a natural leadership quality that we are looking forward to utilizing here at the PD,” said Bonners Ferry Police Chief Brian Zimmerman. “We are very excited to have him on board, no pun intended.”