Officer Mikaela Vega recently made history by becoming Dixie State University Police Department’s first female police officer.
Mikaela Vega graduated from Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training’s Police Academy on Thursday, Nov. 21 in Sandy, Utah. DSUPD team members were there to support her, and welcome her into the department.
“It was such a great experience,” Mikaela said. “My mom, sister, dad and best friend were all there as well as most of the DSU police department. Having everyone there was a big moment for me. It was really awesome to have that support.”
Mikaela’s dad, Edwin, presented her certificate during the momentous occasion and pinned her badge. Only law enforcement officers are given the honor of participating at such a level. As a retired Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy, Mr. Vega fully understood what his daughter had accomplished at the academy and was honored to pin his daughter’s badge in celebration of her achievements.
Once she is done with her field training, Mikaela will become the Victim Services Specialist for DSUPD. “Hiring Officer Vega and putting her in this new role, is one of many exciting steps our department is taking to better serve and protect our DSU community,” DSU Police Chief Blair Barfuss said.
Chief Barfuss also explained that the Victim Services Specialist is a new position created within the police department to better represent and assist victims of crime, including sexual assault, helping them through the criminal justice process.
“Coming into this new role as a police officer and being able to be the Victim Services Specialist as well really means a lot,” Mikaela said. “It will be super beneficial having someone on campus and being able to help people out, right then and there, when they need that support.”
Mikaela previously served as the Records Administrator and Security Supervisor for the Department of Public Safety. She was also a Victim Advocate through the Dove Center, a local agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention and prevention for victims of violence, rape or sexual assault.
Barfuss said Mikaela’s background and history of being a Victim Advocate and Police Records Administrator will position her well for this new role.
Mikaela said after working alongside the DSUPD team for the past two years, she’s excited to be able to work with them in serving the DSU community in this new capacity. “They are great! They drove four hours to be part of my graduation. They are like my family.”