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Why I Wear the Badge - Officer Ken Hendrickson

Post Date:06/30/2020 1:15 PM

#WhyIWearTheBadge is a campaign designed to highlight the diversity and commitment of the law enforcement profession. The badge is a symbol of courage, strength, and integrity. With the display of the badge comes great responsibility. So why do hundreds of thousands of men and women wear the badge each day?

This month, the Santa Clara Police Department is featuring Officer Ken Hendrickson in our #WhyIWearTheBadge series.

Ken started his law enforcement career with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department in 1999. Ken worked as a jail deputy for two years before transferring to the patrol division. During his six years in patrol, he also worked as a member of the SWAT team, was assigned as a Field Training Officer and worked on the Monterey County Gang Task Force.

In 2007, Ken lateraled to the Salinas Police Department and worked in Salinas from 2007-2019. During this time, he was assigned in patrol and worked as a Field Training Officer and in the Violence Suppression Unit, on the SWAT team, in the Investigations Bureau and was an instructor of defensive tactics and emergency vehicle operations.

Ken grew up in San Jose and Santa Clara and always wanted to work in an agency where he spent his childhood years. After speaking with colleagues in both agencies and going on ride-alongs, he impressed with the officers professionalism in the field as well as the camaraderie and family environment throughout the Department. Ken knew the Santa Clara Police Department was where he wanted to spend the balance of his law enforcement career.

Ken joined the Santa Clara Police Department in 2019. Ken finds Santa Clara unique compared with his previous agencies because of the strong connection between the Department and the community, which makes him want to give 100% to his job each day. Ken worked in the patrol and enjoys being a police officer because it allows him to serve my community and really make a difference.  In Ken’s words, “The job is never the same and everyday offers new challenges and opportunities to make a positive impact on someone’s life. I wear the badge because it is the most challenging yet rewarding job that I can imagine.  I enjoy being part of an amazing team and working with other dedicated and passionate professionals serving the City of Santa Clara.”

When Ken is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and two boys. “My family is my life and I cherish every moment I can with them.  We enjoy travelling and going to new places.”


If you are interested in a career in law enforcement, learn more at

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