Come visit Interrupting Privilege at the Northwest African American Museum! Click here to learn more about the exhibit

Becoming an Officer

Listen to this Seattle police officer recount her journey to becoming an officer. Growing up in the Chicago projects she witnessed horrific police brutality and abuses of power inflicted on her brothers and family members. Accordingly, she, like her family and friends, saw the police as “the enemy.” But her perspective changed when she got to high school.

Once I went to high school, there was a police officer that was assigned to my school. And he was so cool and he was so nice. He was just opposite of what I was seeing in these other police officers.

Interacting with a police officer that was dedicated to community engagement and helping the community they served, inspired her to become an officer as well. Despite pushback from her family members, she followed her goal of becoming a police officer and has committed to being an officer like the one who inspired her. Her conversation partner in this interview reflects on the impact having a Black woman police officer has to create lasting change.

I’m that officer that get’s out of my car and get to know people. I’m that officer that go into the school. I’m that officer that learn my community. I know the people in the community. I know the grandmas, the mothers, the store owners.