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Alumni Spotlight Archive


Sam Pulia
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Mayor Sam Pulia

Job:
Mayor of Westchester.

Vitals:
1973 Triton graduate. Associate’s Degree in Police Science Administration.

Accolades:
Working my way up the ranks from a police officer all the way up to mayor. I’ve spent my entire life in Westchester. While at Triton I saw a posting for a job as a police cadet in Addison. I interviewed for the job and because I had an education specific to the job requirements, I was able to land the job. From there, I became a police officer in Westchester and through the years worked my way up the ladder. Even though I am the mayor of the town, I consider myself a police officer first and then a politician.

What would you describe as your strong suit?
I love what I do. I am available for people and I keep lines of communication. Because I have a lot of history in the town, I’m able to draw on my experiences to help the community.

What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
In any situation, there are always two opinions. I try to hear everyone out and at the end of the day, make the decision that is best for the town. You can’t always get consensus, so I’m not afraid to make unpopular decisions and move forward for the betterment of Westchester.

What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
I am inspired by helping other people. I enjoy putting myself out there and leading by example. My sons and I volunteered several weeks of our time after 9/11 and while we didn’t create miracles, we helped make a difference.

How has Triton College impacted your life?
If it wasn’t for Triton, I would have never been able to secure my job as an Addison police cadet before my 21st birthday. But, because I had an associates degree, I was hired and was ready to begin work.

The Criminal justice program was excellent and provided me with a great foundation for my bachelor’s and master’s degree.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
Sometimes there are decks stacked against you, but you need to look at yourself in the mirror and make difficult decisions. Nothing comes without hard work. The more education you receive, the better. Don’t sell yourself short.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Attend meetings and events.

What are your plans for the future?
Continue to do the best that I can for the Village of Westchester.