by: Kristi Hawthorne
Jon Hoover emulates the Southern California lifestyle with a casual attitude. His plans to live a laid-back way of life was typical of most teenagers living within reach of the beach. Most teenagers grow up and find themselves wearing a suit and tie to work, however, Jon Hoover found his way around the grind to do what most only dream about.
Jon admits he often ditched class to head to the Oceanside Harbor. He learned to surf at an early age and his “school uniform” of choice included board shorts, flip flops and sand on his feet.
In high school Jon worked various jobs typical of a teenager, at Rubio’s and a local skate shop. At the age of 19 he was working in the San Diego Bay doing repo’s when he saw a Harbor Patrol Boat. That life-changing moment inspired him to pursue a career path that he felt would get him where he wanted to be most: on the water.
He enrolled at Westminster College to earn a degree (taking a course in sailing, by the way). At age 20 he enrolled in the police academy and was eventually hired by the Port of San Diego where he worked for two years.
In 2005 he talked to Sgt. Joe Spurgeon, a member of Oceanside’s Harbor Patrol. His goal was to return to the community where he grew up, to serve, surf and live. His best and earliest memories are all in Oceanside where he says it still has the “small town feel.”
His lifelong goal was achieved when he was hired by the Oceanside Police Department and selected to serve on the coveted Harbor District where he is 1 of 8 officers, with one Sergeant. He had to undergo a rigorous swim test, including scuba diving and rescue techniques but his lifetime experience with the ocean only served to prepare him for what he considers his dream job.
With his affable style, Officer Hoover, aspires to make connections with people beyond his uniform while on duty. If possible, he prefers education versus enforcement.
Despite the long hours and physical demands, including being “on call,” Hoover believes his job is a blast. He prefers to be on or in the ocean every day whether he’s working or not. He travels the world looking for adventure including Hawaii, Mexico and even eastern Canada where he surfed the tidal bore, one of the longest waves in North America.
Hoover not only describes the ocean as his “office” but also as an amazing playground and never tires of the marine life that he co-exists with on a daily basis. In 2014 he witnessed the first documented sighting of a pod of Killer Whales near the Oceanside pier and coastline.
While his job is one to serve and protect, Officer Hoover also uses his profession to encourage others to enjoy and respect the natural wonder of our sea and beaches.
With a life-long passion realized, summed up by a fitting motto: “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure” Hoover feels he’s living the dream.
This story was featured in the 2015 edition of Oceanside Living Magazine: Unique People and Places. The entire magazine can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/OceansideLiving2015