Meet Officer Celentano

When you mention that his fellow officers have accused him of eating lots of gummy bears, Nevada Police Officer Matt Celentano, 33, is quick to set the record straight.
“So, I eat gummy worms sometimes, but some of them (other officers) eat way more gummy worms than me, and it was a fellow officer who actually got me started on them,” he said, noting that the culprit who got him started was Officer Sean Seymour.
Mention of gummy worms does make Celentano smile, though. He genuinely likes his fellow officers in the Nevada Police Department.
“They have been very accepting and welcoming since day one. We joke and make fun of each other, but it’s all in a good light. It’s rewarding working with them, and I like them all,” he said, and he emphasizes, having worked in other places before this, “it’s very rare to like everyone you work with.”
Celentano, who was originally from Connecticut before his family moved to Des Moines during his school years, started with the Nevada Police Department in August of 2019. He attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy throughout the fall.
“I knew I really wanted to step it up and get into law enforcement,” he said. So on his 30th birthday, he started classes at DMACC. “I figured a degree would help.”
He was working for UPS while taking classes. He’d started working for UPS while attending Roosevelt High School, and he continued to work there for a total of 14 years. “It was a good job, a good experience,” he said.
Before he graduated from DMACC, he’d interviewed with the Nevada Police Department. “The whole process (of getting hired) takes a while… I ended up starting (at the Nevada PD) about two weeks after graduation.”
Celentano was attracted to law enforcement because he wanted a challenge. “In this career, there’s something different every day; every call is unique, and no day is the same.”
So far, law enforcement has been something he’s loved. “It’s been gratifying. I like helping people.”
He also likes serving the community of Nevada. Most recently working overnights, he said by the morning hours, when people are heading to work, “everybody is waving at me. I’m waving to everybody. I like that this community is so supportive of law enforcement.”
He also likes that he lives in Ankeny. “I didn’t want to police where I live. I like having that half-hour drive back home – it’s good decompression time.”
When he’s not at work — or eating gummy worms — Celentano said he likes grilling and hanging out with his wife of almost three years, Jenny, and their dog, Bella, a coon hound mix.

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