Q & A with Sergeant Dennis Santiago of the Middleburg Heights Police Department

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the City of Brook Park, Ohio.

Where did you attend high school?
I attended high school at Midpark High School, right here in the City of Middleburg Heights. Class of 2005. Go Meteors!

What did you do after graduation?
After graduation I continued my academics and athletic career at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and was a four-year letterman on the men’s basketball team.

How did you start your career?
I started my career while still in college. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement so I wanted to get a head start and gain some valuable real-life experience in the field. I completed three internships during college with the following departments; Lakewood Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ohio HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). I also volunteered as an Auxiliary Officer for the Brook Park Police Department. Right after graduating from college, I was fortunate to get hired by the Middleburg Heights Police Department, where they sent me to the Police Academy for training. My official hire date was June 30, 2010!

What do you like about your career, and how do you best contribute to the City of Middleburg Heights?
The best part of my career is being able to give back to the community that I grew up in. The community has done so much for me as a kid and growing up, that I want to make sure others have the same great experience. One of my most favorite events that we participate in is “Shop with a Cop.” This is an annual event that we do where local kids are selected to hang out with an officer for the day. Time is spent having breakfast/lunch, touring the police department, riding in a police cruiser (in a parade of police cruisers), and shopping for holiday gifts. It’s a great way to positively interact with the youth and spread the holiday joy. It’s such a fun filled day that you can’t tell who’s having more fun, the kids or the officers, which is the best part!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, working out, watching sports, traveling, and my new hobby of boating! I am currently in charge of our department’s Traffic Unit. Please feel free to give us a wave when you see us riding around on the motorcycles during summer months. Also, feel free to contact me if you have any concerns/complaints of unsafe driving in your area. We want to make sure the streets are safe for everyone!