Phan Ngo

Phan Ngo


Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety

Sunnyvale, CA USA

It’s not a destination, it’s a journey. If you’re curious and you want to continue to learn and grow, then you’re going to be successful at whatever you want to do.


By Roadtrip Nation

Phan Ngo


My road in life has been direct.
I was born in Vietnam and fled with my family to the United States when I was eight years old.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from San Jose State University.
While in college, I was taken aback by the reasons my peers thought Vietnamese-Americans wouldn’t make good police officers.
I took that as a challenge and applied to the San Jose Police Department.
I then built a 26-year career with the police department, starting as a police officer and working my way up to deputy chief of police.
I now work as the director of public safety for the Sunnyvale Department of public safety, where I oversee our officers performing police, fire, and emergency medical services.
Keep following my journey


High School
Criminal Justice Administration
San Jose State University
Criminal Justice
Boston University
Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times
Harvard Kennedy School
Negotiation Strategies: Building Agreement Across Boundaries Program
Harvard Kennedy School



I lead one of the oldest fully integrated police, fire, and emergency medical services in the United States.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Talk to people in the field you're interested in. Exploration is key to figuring out what your true passions are. Don't be afraid to fail. It's part of the exploration process.


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Vietnamese-Americans don't communicate well and don't have good command presence, so they don't become police officers."