"EXCELLENCE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY"

Monique Cervantes

 

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

When I was in High School I started thinking about my future and what I wanted to do with my life. Even though I got married and had my daughter a couple of years after high school I always thought someday I would join the Law Enforcement family. Having a newborn I knew it would be hard so I waited until my daughter was old enough and I finally applied for my dream job. I always saw myself helping and educating the community and what better way to do that than in Law Enforcement.

 

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?

Having a husband in Law Enforcement it was a little easier for him to accept the job. My daughter and my parents were concerned but once they saw how motivated I was to be a Police Officer they fully supported my career choice.

 

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

I never felt like it was a competition but because I am small in stature and not as strong as my male counterparts, I did have to work extra hard to get through on a physical level. As a female I did what I could to prove I could do the job just as well as anyone else and I was respected for that.

 

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

It was easy for me working graveyards as my daughter was a little older and I did not have to worry about getting her back and forth to school. The hardest was finding time to spend with my husband, but we figured it out and it worked for us. We both worked graveyards by choice for 5+ years. Now I am a Detective and work the afternoon shift and my husband works day shift. We don’t see each other during our work week but we make up for it on the weekends.

 

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

No. As a female officer a lot of people do not feel intimidated with me and I usually can calm a person down without a situation getting out of control.

 

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

I did not have any issues getting hired, I did have a hard time with the running part of the physical fitness test. Training daily I improved and got to the point that when I tested I passed.

 

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

Patience, compassion, able and willing to adapt to any situation I am put in.

 

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 diversified and we have done a great job in hiring qualified female officers.

 

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

I remember early on in my career I was on a call where a male had shoplifted items from a convenient store. A male officer was talking to the male and the male was getting more and more agitated. I stepped in and in a calm manner began to talk to the male. He stated he did not want to talk to anyone else but me and he confessed what he had done.

 

What is your most memorable experience as a police officer?

The most memorable case is one where we were dispatched to a shots fired call in the middle of the night which later was found to be popping noises from a house fire. An address was not given it was just in the neighborhood. We located the house, knocked on the door and were advised by neighbors that an elderly couple lived there and were in the home at the time. We tried numerous times to get them to come to the door by knocking on the front door, back door and all the windows. By the time the fire department arrived we had the couple out of the home and the fire under control. If we would not have located the fire we would not have been able to save the couple and due to our relentless efforts we did.

 

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

Yes. I have great support from the department as well as my supervisors and peers to assist trainings and learn more about my current position as well as any training I can attend for my future goals.

 

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

Prepare for the job, mentally and physically. Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish them. I did!

 

 

 

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

JOB HOTLINE
1-800-884-5480