Ashley Ellif


What made you want to get into a career in Law Enforcement?

I wanted a career that was exciting and rewarding. After doing numerous ride-alongs with a family friend as a teen I observed “hands on” what the job entailed and the excitement it came with. I was never one to dream of a desk job and always envisioned myself working outside.


What concerns did your family and friends have with you becoming a police officer and did their concerns change after successful completion of your training?

My family was very supportive of my decision to become a police officer. Their concerns were definitely about me being injured or killed while on duty. This concern did not really change after my training as I think it is a constant concern for all officers.


Did you find it hard to compete with male officers during the academy and FTO program?

I did not find it hard compete with male officers during most of the academy and FTO program. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses whether you are male or female. Some things came easier for me than they did for the male officers and vice versa.


How do you balance the scale between family life and shift work?

As an Officer if you can remember to leave your work at work and avoid bringing it home and vice versa I think you can maintain a balance. Unfortunately this doesn’t always work especially when you are married to an Officer, as I am. Fortunately it helps to occasionally talk about difficult calls we go to or occurrences during the day.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation you could not handle because you were a female?

I haven’t found myself in a situation I could not handle due to being a female. As I female I may have to change my tactics more quickly than a male Officer would but I have not yet found myself in a situation I could not handle.


Did you have any issues getting hired and how did you cope with the academy physical fitness requirements?

I did not have any issues with being hired for the position. The academy physical fitness was definitely very taxing and stressful. I knew going into the academy that it would be very physically demanding so I prepared well ahead of time by working out and running even though I felt I still did not prepare enough once we started the academy. I made sure to eat healthy and continue exercising throughout the academy in order to not fall behind my fellow classmates.


What do you feel you bring to Mesa PD because of being a female officer?

I feel I bring a different life experience to Mesa as well as a different approached to dealing with situations. I think as females we rely less on physical force and more on communication skills. The potential for violence may de-escalate if I speak with someone verses a male speaking with them. I also may be less threatening to a subject versus a male.


Do you feel that Mesa PD is a diversified department and should the department seek harder to hire more female officers?

I think Mesa PD is a diversified department. If females are interested in being employed as an Officer they will go through the process as my fellow co-workers and I have.


Give one example of a situation where being a female officer helped defuse the situation?

A situation in particular I can think of where I helped defuse a situation was a call of a female who had been raped. The female was becoming angry speaking with male Officers because of the situation and she felt more comfortable and open speaking with me.


What is your most memorable experience as a police officer?

My most memorable experience was assisting in the life saving efforts of an elderly female who was found not breathing by her elderly husband. After a one month stay in the hospital the elderly female and her family were so grateful myself and my partner saved her life they wished to thank us in person. It was very memorable to see the elderly female with her husband and children.


Do you feel the department has been supportive in assisting you to reach your career goals?

The department as a whole has been very supportive in assisting me to reach my goals. We have great female as well as male mentors within the department that have assisted me greatly with my goals.


What advise would you give to women who want to become police officers?

I would tell them to go to their local police department and ask for a ride along or speak with other female Police Officers about the job. A hands-on approach before deciding if the fit would be for them would also be beneficial. I would also advise them to prepare both mentally and physically for the job.




Human Resources
P.O. Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211