The nicest Police Captain I’ve ever met, jumping for joy with Mike Kovaleff

Mike Kovaleff photographed by Eyoalha Baker for jump for Joy Photo Project and Palm Springs Cultural Center Artist Residency

We were very happy when the Palm Springs Police Department wanted to participate in the jump for joy photo project (special thanks to Thomas for setting this up!). I met up with Captain Mike Kovaleff in the morning and was impressed by his open, kind and inviting personality. He took me through the Police department to where they train the Police dogs as the location for his jumps. After just a couple of jumps we got this amazing pic of him hovering in mid air with the trees. It was nice to lean how much he cares about his fellow officers, his family and the people of Palm Springs that he wants to keep safe… and the new dog he recently adopted. He has a big heart and I’m happy he took the time to share some joy with us.

Get to know a little more about Mike:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
Off Duty- My kids’ incredible abilities, my wife’s smile, my dogs’ wagging tails, Dodgers and Lakers Championships. On Duty- Great investigations by our Department that result in criminals and weapons being removed from society.

Q: How was your experience doing the jumping photos?
It was new and a fun thing to do at work. Before the photos, I was nervous that my incredible hops would not be portrayed adequately (just kidding). After the photos I was happy to see that I survived the jump.

Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
Joy is that real, spontaneous, special feeling you get from positive things that can’t be overridden by anything or faked. Joy is what keeps my motor running.

Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
My greatest passion is protecting and serving my family and community because that is my calling.

Q: How do you feel about being part of a community project that promotes joy?
I am thrilled to be a part of this community project and want our community to see that cops experience joy too.

Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
I would go back to the morning of October 8th, 2016, and change the fact that our two fallen officers, Officer Jose “Gil” Vega and Officer Lesley Zerebny, didn’t go home to their families at the end of their shift that day and make sure that they did and still do.

Q: What are you working on or creating?
I am always looking for innovative ways of protecting our community and making sure our staff has the tools, training, and work atmosphere to get the job done right.

Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
I am a Police Captain for the Palm Springs Police Department and am happily married with three kids and two dogs. I enjoy surfing, skateboarding, hiking, and dirt biking.

Thank you Captain Mike Kovaleff for taking time out of your busy day to share joy with us!


Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.

If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us:


Follow Jump for Joy on:
Instagram: @jumpforjoyphotoproject
Twitter: @jumpforjoyphoto
Facebook: /JumpForJoyPhotoProject

Please... share the joy :)

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