For Christina Roppo, it feels “like a privilege and blessing all at once,” she said, describing her emotions in becoming the newest member of the South Pasadena Police Department.
SPPD Chief Joe Ortiz swore in Roppo as an officer Monday afternoon during a brief ceremony inside the council chambers at City Hall.
“I’m very fortunate to have found a good department with a good community,” said Roppo, who was joined by family and friends as she took the oath, making her the second female officer on the local force. “I myself being a mother, being a daughter, being a sister, being a wife, I can relate to this family-oriented city. It’s really important that the community can put its trust me. I’ll do everything I can to ensure the city will be safe, getting crime off the streets.”
Roppo grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, spending much of her time in Temple City. Pointed out by Ortiz during his introduction of the new officer, Roppo comes from a Greek background and speaks the language fluently. Married to husband Michaelangelo, the couple has two children, Iliana Galvan and Niko Roppo. “Spending time with her family is her favorite thing to do as well as weight training,” explained Ortiz. “She also enjoys traveling, watching sports and spending time with friends.”
Prior to entering law enforcement, Roppo worked in the fitness and insurance industries. “She has competed in the National Physique Community (NPC) women’s figure division,” said the police chief. “Being in good physical shape is a must for her and is beneficial with her career in law enforcement.
She launched her law enforcement career in 2015 with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff. “Having experience working in the jails and interacting with inmates has provided her the knowledge and tools to emphasize the importance of creating a safe community and positive interventions, which will be useful for the City of South Pasadena,” said Ortiz. “Christina’s experience in working at a custody facility has also given her the understanding how physical and mental health work together.”
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, South Pasadena Mayor Robert Joe, Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud, City Councilmember Dr. Marina Khubesrian and Ed Donnelly, a member of the city’s Public Safety Commission.
Ropp was joined by family members, including her husband Michaelangelo Roppo, daughter Iliana Galvan, son Nikko, parents Loukas and Mary Kolonelos, mother-in-law Angela Congelose, and family friends Tas Darlas, Bill Early, Jillian Stiffler and Dana Frontino.
The new officer said she’s looking forward to getting to know members of the community and further understanding the city’s culture and history.
“Christina feels blessed and excited to have the opportunity to work for the South Pasadena Department and her goal to be a good ambassador for the department while serving and protecting the community of South Pasadena,” Ortiz said, noting she brings “diversity, experience, passion and knowledge. She comes to us with a lot of institutional knowledge on law enforcement.”
Roppo joins Catalina Valdez as the other female officer in the South Pasadena Police Department.
“It’s always nice to have new additions to the police department,” said DeWolfe. “We’re really thrilled to have another woman on the force.”