Mike began his law enforcement career in 2001 when he attended the William Penn Mott Jr. Police Academy in Pacific Grove, CA. Upon graduation, Mike joined California State Parks as a sworn State Park Peace Officer until 2004. During his time with State Parks, Mike served as Field Training Officer (FTO) and received several MADD awards.
In December 2004, Mike lateraled to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department and was quickly promoted to a Field Training Officer (FTO). In 2010, Mike was promoted to Detective, and was assigned to the Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force, a position he held until 2013. After serving on the task force, Mike started the Department’s first Special Enforcement Team (SET) and ran the team as the Lead Investigator for a year and a half. Throughout his tenure with DHSPD, Mike also spent two years as an Acting Sergeant. He also has hundreds of hours of advanced officer training.
While with DHSPD, Mike served as a POA general board member, Vice President and in 2011, he was elected President, the position he held until his retirement. Mike gained valuable experience negotiating several Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs), and was the lead representative from the POA during multiple meet and confer sessions as the City unsuccessfully tried to contract out police services to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Mike was also the lead POA representative during mediation sessions and a PERB fact- finding related to impasse with the City during contract negotiations. While President, he also led the POA as they sued the City for unfair labor practices, including failure to meet and confer.
Mike has attended multiple PORAC POA trainings including: POA Leadership, Internal Affairs, Collective Bargaining, as well as PORAC symposiums & conferences. He has also been a regular attendee at training seminars put on by CASTILLO HARPER, APC and other law firms. In 2016, Mike was a presenter at our Las Vegas POA Leadership Training, speaking on “POA BASICS: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE BOARD MEMBER.” He has been a key negotiator for our general counsel clients, and has fast become a resource associations do not hesitate to reach out to.
Mike is proud to serve our clients and use his wide range of knowledge. He is also a licensed Private Investigator and conducts investigations on behalf of our clients. You can reach him directly at Valentich@CastilloHarper.com.