In California, it’s unusual to meet people who work in the same town they were born and grew up in. That’s why Santa Clara Police Officer David Machado says he’s a lucky man. He considers it an honor to serve the city where he grew up.
Machado is an alumnus of Briarwood Elementary School and Wilcox High School and a San José State University graduate with a degree in marketing. After graduating Machado worked in marketing for two years.
Machado is also part of Santa Clara’s vibrant Portuguese-American community.
Because he’s fluent in Portuguese, he was asked help the SCPD communicate with a non-English speaker who had been arrested. Machado ended up helping the person navigate the U.S. legal system.
In addition to the satisfaction of helping people, he also learned a lot about the legal system first hand. The experience helped Machado decide that his calling was as a police officer, not a marketer. He was hired by SCPD in 2002 and graduated from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Police Academy in 2003.
In almost 15 years of service, Machado has held several positions. He’s worked the graveyard patrol shift and as a field training officer, crime scene investigator and, currently, a traffic investigator.
He’s also a certified motorcycle officer. Of all the jobs he’s had in SCPD, that’s Machado’s favorite. Occasionally, he still does motorcycle duties at Levi’s Stadium.
Machado has four children, including a pair of twin daughters, and spends as much time as he can coaching his children’s’ T-ball and soccer teams. He also enjoys hosting kids’ parties, where he can be found manning the barbeque.
In his day job as a traffic investigator, Machado has one big message for drivers: “Slow down. You will get to your destination.”
He also tells people that the best thing they can do in any situation is to not judge other people until you get to know them. “You never know who you will meet living within your community.”