OREM, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) He had a dream to be a cop in his home town of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Then he came to Utah and after a decade of work and training – he became an officer here instead. Meet Officer Caio Jesuino in this week’s Behind the Badge profile – living the American Dream.
“I’ve been robbed a gun point, at knife point a couple of times. My parents the same.” While growing up in Brazil – Caio Jesuino saw plenty of crime. “My dad’s car was hijacked a couple of times.” Jesuino says experiencing all that crime probably played a role creating a dream to one day become a police officer. “I would love to do something that is meaningful to society and that is meaningful to myself.”
But getting the opportunity to wear a police badge wasn’t easy. Jesuino moved from Brazil to Utah in 2002 when he was 23-years-old and had a mere $200 to his name. For the next ten years he focused on school and paying the bills. “I worked at a restaurant. And I did some construction and I did some cleaning. Any job you can think of – I did it just to get by.”
He eventually moved up the ladder at a local restaurant and became the manager. But about three years ago, he made the decision to do leave that behind – take a pay cut and do whatever it took to become an officer. “I wanted to be in a career that I was happy. Not just for the first week. I wanted to be happy for the rest of my career.”
Fast forward to today and you find Officer Jesuino patrolling the streets of Orem. He says he loves his job and is grateful for the opportunity to serve and protect. “Every morning when I get up, I appreciate what I have. I appreciate being here and I know it is a blessing. It seriously is a blessing.”
Of course, that’s not to say being an officer hasn’t had it’s moments. He quickly admits there have been challenges. “The first year was rough – learning everything. I got a thick accent, getting on the radio and dealing with people.” And, even though he’s been an officer for just two years, he says he has seen his share of excitement. “I had to pull my gun out a few times. I had to pull my rifle out just last week.”
That kind of thing comes with the job, but it’s not something he likes doing. Officer Jesuino says his focus as an officer is creating a better relationship with the people of Orem. “I’m a big believer on a good relationship with the public. And I’m huge on public work and helping gain that respect and the trust back.” He says right now police seem to be under fire, judged too quickly and too often – the actions of one cop get placed on all cops. “I know we are, everyday, seeking to do what is best for society. Seeking to do the right thing. If there was a shooting somewhere else – the cop was in the wrong place. That was a bad apple. You can’t judge everything on something that happened in the past.”