"EXCELLENCE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY"

Brandi George

 

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

I was going to Central Arizona College, taking general classes because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life! I decided to take a Criminology class as an elective and found that it really intrigued me. I switched my major to Criminal Justice and volunteered at Casa Grande Police Department. I eventually did a ride along and that is when I knew, this was the job for me.

 

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?

I remember the day I told my mom that I got hired, she cried. She did not cry because she was happy though, she cried because she was scared. I had no police officers in my family and I was only 20 years old at the time. My mom only knew of what she saw on TV or the news. Throughout this process, a meeting is set up with staff and family members to address any concerns/ questions they may have. This job was never sugar coated, the reality of what could happen was crystal clear, but I think as time went on, my mom accepted that this was good for me and that I was doing something positive for the community.

 

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

I knew that the males would do better than I would on physical fitness, but it surprised me to see them as exhausted as I was or falling back on certain physical challenges. I felt that my academy class was extremely supportive of the females and helped them along the way because the bottom line is, even though we were going through the academy as individuals, we were there as a team. To see one of your own fail was never an option. The same applies for FTO. Training on the street was obviously different than the academy atmosphere, but everyone is there to help each other. I never felt it was competitive because it was so individualized.

 

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

I made it work. Holidays were rearranged or celebrated on different days when we could all be together. Or I took time off to be there for special occasions that could not be moved to a different date or time.

 

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

No, quite the opposite, actually. I have found that being a female seems to make certain situations better.

 

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

I had an ‘inconclusive’ reading on one of the polygraph questions. I had to explain why the answer I gave might have been read that way. After explaining, the question was read again and I answered it the same way. I was scared that this was an automatic disqualification, but no deception was found the second time. This was the only issue I experienced. As far as physical fitness requirements in the academy, I struggled. I was in no way a ‘runner’. We did lengthy runs as a class and I was guaranteed to be one of the last to complete it, but the only thing that mattered to me was that I did complete it. I never quit. This is what the academy looks for, heart. I wanted to be there and I never lost sight of that vision.

 

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

Understanding. Being a female police officer has put me in very stressful situations where all I can do is talk to the person and empathize with what they are going through. I think most people just want to know that they are not alone in their situation. I really feel that being a female, I can connect with most people in a way men cannot because people will show vulnerability around a female without feeling judgment that can sometimes be brought by a male persona.

 

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

I definitely think Mesa PD is diversified. I would not say that the department itself should seek harder to hire more females just because they are female. I believe it takes a special kind of woman to do this job and I do not believe every female could be successful in this career.

 

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

I was on a domestic violence call involving a male and female. I arrived on scene after another male police officer and could hear the female yelling at the officer about taking the ‘male’s side’ in this situation. Right when I walked into the house, the female immediately saw me and began crying. She asked if she could speak to me. I removed the female from the house and she instantly calmed down as she told me everything she had been through.

 

What is your most memorable experience as a police officer?

Seeing the genuine appreciation the public has for female police officers. Every time someone comes up to me and says they could not do what I do, I feel noteworthy. I know that not every person could do this job, so when someone recognizes my ability to do this every day, it makes me feel accomplished, like this was the right decision for my life.

 

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

Absolutely. Depending on what my interest has been, I have been directed to take different training classes and ride along with different divisions to give me insight as far as where I want to go.

 

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

Train! If you want to pursue this career, you have got to prepare for it. Get mentally and physically strong; go to the gym, go for long runs, read books about what you are getting into. Know that you will be yelled at, cursed at, and physically attacked as a police officer. Think about how you would handle these situations and whether or not you want to put yourself in that position, because somebody has to do it. Why not you?

 

 

 

MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Human Resources
P.O. Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

JOB HOTLINE
1-800-884-5480