Growing up, I was taught that hard work would get me ahead. To a certain extent, I still believe this to be true; all the self-promotion in the world wouldn’t have gotten me where I am without a strong work ethic.
However, I strongly believe that the exposure I have gained and the relationships I have built over the years have helped me grow as a person and a leader. I have represented my police service on a number of committees involving different community groups over the years, including the Children’s Aid Society, Halton Women’s Place, support groups for victims and crime, and others. I also served as the chair of a working group comprising emergency responders from police, fire, and emergency medical services that developed a training package to enhance interagency response to motor vehicle collisions.
Since reaching the level of senior management, I have had the opportunity to serve on several committees of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP). I also volunteer as a member of the Board of Directors for Thrive Group in Hamilton and as a member of the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of Oakville. All of these opportunities helped build my confidence and gave me a much broader perspective on issues in policing. Through these experiences, I have built a wide network of contacts—professionals to whom I could reach out when faced with a challenge or in need of advice.
In order to succeed, one must never underestimate the power of one’s own voice. I would urge every woman to find her voice—and take every opportunity to make it heard.
On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
Policing is a career in which the only constant is change. Changes to legislation, case law, and civilian oversight (to name a few) impact us daily. In order to be successful, one has to not only be adaptable to change, but also committed to life-long learning. I have always taken the opportunity to attend any conferences, seminars, and formal training that will help me perform better.
On Facing Challenges
Before my son’s first birthday, I became a single parent and the sole income source for myself and my two children. I knew I had to do everything I could to provide for my kids.
We went from living a very comfortable lifestyle to living in a two-bedroom basement apartment. It was quite a balancing act working 12-hour nightshifts, devoting time to my kids, and focusing on furthering my career. Somehow I managed to pass the sergeant promotional exam during this time and secured a position in the Criminal Investigations Bureau. Although these achievements meant less time spent with my family, I knew it was an investment in our future. So I ensured that the time we did have together was quality time and that they received my full attention.