Wahiawa Native A Success In California Law Enforcement
Wahiawa native Jennifer Jo (Choi) Uyeda can now be addressed as Lt. Uyeda of the Torrance Police Department (TPD), capping a stellar career in California law enforcement.
The newly promoted police officer has been with the Torrance unit since 1991, earning the Medal of Valor in 1993 as a rookie for preventing a teenage girl from jumping off a hotel’s 16th floor.
The mother of two has worked in patrol, personnel, detectives, community services and internal affairs during her time on the force.
A 1983 graduate of Leilehua High School, Uyeda also earned a criminal justice degree from Cal State-Los Angeles.
When she was transferred out of Community Affairs in 2012, the division reported in the TPD newsletter: “Sgt. Uyeda has a passion for community outreach that will be extremely missed. Anyone who has met or worked with her knows how amazing and talented she is.”
Police athletics was another of her particular interests.
Uyeda was a two-time winner of the Gold Medal for tennis and two-time winner of Toughest Cop Alive in the Police Olympics, according to her husband (and retired Manhattan Beach police chief) Rod Uyeda.
Her skills on her college tennis team also earned her scholarship help and led to the national Division II doubles championship and State Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.
Law enforcement “obviously is not for everyone,” Lt. Uyeda wrote in the city publication, The Torrance Advantage, a decade ago. “But if you want a career where every single day proves to be different, interesting, exciting and challenging, this could be it. The feeling you will get from truly helping someone in despair is one of the most gratifying you could imagine.”
Uyeda and her family lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, but proud dad James Choi said he’s expecting them back in Wahiawa for a vacation in August.