Alexis and Alana Grove walked into the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office for a cadet training program when they were 15, sometimes wearing identical cheerleading uniforms.
After attending classes at Marysville High School, they would go on ride-alongs, shadow officers on dispatch and learn penal codes together – along with the other activities they did together as twins.
“I couldn’t stop talking about (the program), and I was so anxious to keep going and building my knowledge about law enforcement,” Alana Grove said. “That’s when I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.”
The twins left the program with the mutual decision to make law enforcement their careers. Now the 24-year-olds have reached their goals.
Alana was sworn in as an officer Friday for the Roseville Police Department. Alexis has worked for the Sacramento Police Department for more than two years at its south station.
The Roseville ceremony welcomed employees and volunteers who have joined in the last year, said Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville department. Officers were dressed in uniform at the Roseville High School theater and received their badges.
The ceremony marked the twins’ first year of being reunited after parting ways to go to college and start their careers. They were separated for about five years while Alana attended California State University, San Bernardino, and Alexis went to UC Santa Cruz. Alana began working the San Bernardino Police Department for about two years after graduating while Alexis worked at the Sacramento Police Department.
The two are now roommates in Roseville and come home to talk about their experiences, just as they did in high school. And instead of cheerleading, they come home to do CrossFit workouts as often as they can.
Yuba County sheriff’s Deputy Will Davis, who was the leader of their cadet program and has known the girls since they were 2, said he isn’t surprised at what they’ve accomplished.
“It makes me proud,” he said. “I look at those girls and, from the time they were growing up, I knew whatever they set their mind to, they were going to accomplish that goal. They had that determination to follow through.”
Their lives have always been a friendly competition, Alexis said.
After Alana became football homecoming queen, Alexis was voted basketball homecoming queen. When Alana became student body president, Alexis became senior class president, Alexis said.
On Alexis’ first day of training, she called her sister to tell her about her experiences, she said.
“The first day is always the worst because you don’t know anything and (trainers) yell at you quite a bit,” she said. “I would call my sister and we laughed about it. You have to take every day as one day at a time. If you look at the long haul, you won’t make it. Having her remind me of those things calmed me down and helped me be successful.”
The sisters get down to business when they need to, said Roseville police Officer Denny Wilson, who works with Alana and trained with Alexis several years ago.
“They are two of the most bubbly girls I’ve ever met,” he said. “They’re both extremely outgoing, easy to get along with … but that doesn’t take away from their ability to get the job done.”
The girls’ contagious laughs can be heard from across a room, and their energetic personalities create a lighthearted mood in whatever social setting they’re in, Wilson said.
When Alana began working at the Roseville Police Department, Wilson said it took some time for him to adjust to the idea that Alana was not the same person as Alexis. They look alike, and have similar mannerisms and voices, he said.
The sisters’ mom also continues to confuse the two and resorts to calling them “the twins,” the sisters said.
But there are some differences. Most of the time, you can tell the girls apart by their shoes, Alana said. Alana wears bright pink and Alexis always wears green.
“I absolutely love the color pink, but my sister hates pink,” Alana said. “Growing up she liked wearing camo and being more of a tomboy. She didn’t like getting her nails done, but I loved all that stuff.”
Alana is also more quiet than her outspoken sister, she said.
In a family of 11 siblings – one biological sister, two stepbrothers, a stepsister, three adopted brothers and four adopted sisters – Alana and Alexis found a bond with each other.
Alexis said she’s happy to be close to her sister. She enjoys being able to call her sister if the Sacramento Police Department needs anything and she feels comforted by being able to drive to her sister if she’s ever harmed on the job. But being in the same agency, she said, would be too emotional because she would know every time her sister is in danger.
Alana said she has similar concerns.
“I worry about my sister every day she goes to work,” Alana said. “I make sure I tell her that I love her and I make sure I’m never in a fight with my sister before she goes off to her shift. Because, heaven forbid, something happens to her, I want her to know that I’m there for her.”
Alejandra Reyes-Velarde: 916-321-1005