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We Are The 28 - From Wildland Firefighter to Madisons East Side - Catching Up with Patrol Officer Fabiola Ortiz

August 30, 2020 8:49 AM

Fabiola Ortiz has been with MPD for just over a year, the latest chapter of a life defined by high-intensity teams. A collegiate track and cross country athlete, Fabiola majored in psychology at the University of Dubuque. After graduation, she moved west, joining the world of wildland firefighting in Oregon. However, Fabiola decided she wanted to do even more. She applied to and was hired by MPD, and after months of classroom and field training, Fabiola now serves the city's east side.

Officer Ortiz says that one of her favorite aspects of policing is the people with whom she works. "We all wear the same uniform and wait to go to the call," she says. "But I get to see who these officers really are by getting to know them." Fabiola adds that she applies the same perspective when working with the community and in her personal life. Officer Ortiz speaks to her strong family connections and how they provided a conduit to her career. "Growing up with mom, we simply helped each other," she says. "Police were never an option." Recognizing that her family was not exclusive in feeling this way, Fabiola strives to make visible the many layers that may prevent a genuine understanding. "The Spanish speaking community appreciates the understanding, not just the language," she says. "We have a lot of power in how we react to someone who is not a native speaker." This solidified her decision to become a police officer.

When not in uniform, Fabiola enjoys running, creative writing, art, and her cats Wolfang and Lotus. Fabiola also tends to eleven plants in her home. "It's like a jungle in here!" she exclaims. She aspires to have a garden someday, as she admires them for what they are. "I simply get to appreciate that there's this living thing that is beautiful." 

Fabiola Ortiz

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