Saturday, July 18, 2009
On Wednesday July 15, 2009 I along with my mother, brothers, and my best friends met with Sheriff Douglas Gillespie to receive my 20 year pin and photo.
Twenty years. Two zero. When I pinned on this badge I had just turn two year over twenty (22 years old). A pup. I could not imagine at that time the concept of working twenty years. As a new officer you live life in incriment. The tiny hurdles of your career, the markers you want to cross as you run the race to the finish line of a career. The first one facing a rookie officer is getting off probation and progressing from Police officer level one to police officer level two. Then its getting past your first five years to be vested. Then its vision of enhancing officer skills and for me Police Officer (2A) which is Detective (Investigator, Inspector depending on where your from). Then there's the presentation of your ten year service pin and your fifteen year service pin. These are both huge milestone but most people are not throwing a party. Now twenty and twenty five. Those are "party required" dates like the 40th, 45th, and 50th birthday galas.
At twenty years a lot of officers are eligible for retirement (NYPD for an example), In Nevada (the US state I am from) you can retire with ten years on but to get the best benefit wise the Twenty Five year mark is ideal.
I feel so blessed for my twenty years of police service. I have worked in great assignments and feel like I have made a difference in many peoples lives. I am often asked about the highlights of my career and the positions I enjoyed the most.
In the early 1990s I worked as part of a specialized community policing team that patrolled the then troubled area near the strip called the "Naked City" (located west of the Stratosphere Tower). Gang activity, drugs, prostitution and other misconduct plagued this predominately minority occupied area.
It had come to our attention that an elderly lady's home had been taken over by local gang members who were dealing drugs from her home against her will. She was like a captive and due to a language barrier she did not reach out to the police. It was my great pleasure to be part of the team that liberated that precious old lady from that siege. She was so greatful and I fondly remember that rescue.
I also enjoyed my time working as an instructor with the Drug Abuse Resistance and Education (DARE) Program, the Gang Resistance Eaducation and Training (GREAT) Program and as a Kids In Action summer youth program site coordinator while in community relations. I loved pouring positive information and self esteem into the youth of my community. The students really appreciated their DARE officer and looked forward to their weekly visit to their school. I felt like I had the greatest impact on this society's future while educating the children.
My current assignment also provides me the feeling I am making a difference. I make a differnce one life at a time, one case at a time, one in-service presentation, academy presentation, and citizen presentation at a time. Teaching Domestic Violence Awareness allows me to help empower some of our most vulnerable citizens in our society. People who over time have lost their own self-worth. No one deserves to be Battered or abused emotionally in a intimate relationship.
As I look back over my twenty years I thank God for his grace and his wisdom. I thank God for the people who he has placed in my life. I thank God for the experiences he has brought me through along the way and I thank God for you (my reader). He has been the source of my strength.
Finding the IAWP thirteen years ago has helped me be the person I am today. I have met so many awesome and inspiring individuals during the twelve confernces I have attend (#13 Seattle here I come). I have share so many experience given and received so much encouragement from the fantastic women (and men) of the IAWP along the years. I have met so many people from diverse backgrounds and spiritual belief and am a better person for those meetings.
If you are not a member. JOIN. If you have not attend a conference. THERE'S still time. The Seattle 2009 Conference is two months away. Join me as a proud member of the IAWP and a proud twenty year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Have a fantasitic weekend and stay safe.