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Lee  Weigel

#128 Lee Weigel, Class of 1974

Attending COD helped round out my life after military service, start my new career and move forward in life.

I had just gotten out of the Navy, after completing three tours to Vietnam, when I came back home to Palm Springs, and joined the Police Department. In those days, you didn’t go to an Academy right away. They gave you a badge and a gun, and said, “Congratulations, you’re a policeman. Go, do your work.”

I could have easily done that. But there was this learning curve; and I felt like I was missing out on a lot. I wanted to continue my education, so COD was the logical place to go.

I’m happy to say my first college experience was at COD. I took College of the Desert’s police science classes, and graduated with an A.A. in 1974. From there, I went to the Police Academy; and it was all invaluable. I studied criminal and constitutional law, evidence collection and all those things to gain the knowledge to do a good job and advance. I moved up the ranks and I obtained my BA in Business Management. I had the privilege of serving Palm Springs as Chief-of-Police from 1997 to 2002. I also served on the Palm Springs City Council from 2007 to 2011. I have been a consultant and interim Police Chief in Desert Hot Springs and Banning.

College of the Desert inspired me to do more. Today, I am an executive for an international security firm. My wife, Marie, and I are experiencing life with two young, school-aged boys, Chris, 8, and Alec, 10. Learning never ends!