At the heart of police work is being privy to the stories of others. We are called in the small hours of the night, in snowstorms and torrential rain, on hot summer Sundays and holiday weekends. We answer those calls and listen to the trials and tragedies of others. I've always been drawn to personal narratives, to the large and small decisions that lead a person to a particular place in time. To share a person's narrative is to honor their experience, and to lighten their burden when possible. It is what I love most about police work.
Over the past year, my colleague Lore Vang and I have been privileged to share the stories of some of MPD's nationally recognized 28% female workforce. MPD has 147 female commissioned members. The strength of our membership is not in numbers, however. It is in the heart and mind of every woman who gets in a squad, tackles a new investigation, and leads others in the field or behind the scenes. And each time we go out in the community as women in uniform, women who serve, I hope we inspire the next generation.
I bring my own story to the work I do. Like many women in policing, I frequently hear this phrase: you don't look like a cop. I want to change that perception, and that is at the heart of this project. We are the 28%, but we are so much more. I am so much more than a uniform. I'm a new mom, a wife of 10 years, a continuing student, and an Intentional Mentor. I travel to far-flung places and read voraciously, because the world is wide and there are so many stories out there. My own narrative at MPD continues to unfold, but I know this to be true: I am proud to be one of the extraordinary 28%. And one day, I hope to be part of the 50%.