Officer Joins the Ranks of Those Who Arrested Her Brothers' Killers - NBC Southern California
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Officer Joins the Ranks of Those Who Arrested Her Brothers' Killers

Jackie Perea was distraught after her brother was shot and killed, until she found a way to serve those like her.

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    In 2013, Cesar Perea was murdered in South Los Angeles - shot at the barbershop where he worked. With his death, he left behind his grieving sister, Jaqueline.

    "All I remember saying was 'my brother, they killed him,'" she said.

    Jackie spent years rebuilding from her tragic loss. Inspiring her journey were the same officers that helped bring the killers to justice.

    "We remember having to let them know their brother Cesar had been killed," said Sgt. Rudy Ramirez of the Los Angeles Police Department.

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    Now, she will be joining their ranks as an official member of the LAPD.

    With just a few days left in her probation period, she ultimately decided that the police force was where she could repay the same service that was done for her family.

    "She went from being in college studying to be a suicidal worker, to then deciding, 'no, I want to do what those detectives did for me and my family,'" said Ramirez. "It instills a little bit of pride in you."

    After Cesar’s death, the officers knew Jackie had faith in their hunt for the culprits, even after dealing with such a personal tragedy.

    "It was apparent right away that we were being listened to, that she heard everything we said," detective Roger Fontes remembered.

    "They didn’t give up on us," Jackie said. "They didn’t give up on the whole case."

    The killers' conviction three years after Cesar’s murder helped solidify Jackie’s commitment to the force.

    "When we heard they were going to prison for life," Jackie said. "That’s when I knew this is something that I want to be able to do for other families."

    Her unique experience dealing with personal tragedy and working with police in the process, officers say, will prime her for a life serving the public.

    "The way she handled herself under stress - I see her being a great detective one day," Fontes said.

    With a promising career in front of her, Jackie Perea will never forget where it all started - and who continues to inspire her moving forward.

    "I think that I made him proud," she said.