Hamilton Police Services hosts Girls Night Out recruitment evening in Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2015 by Debra Downey Ancaster News

Manicures, giggles and maybe a glass of wine are usually on the agenda when 50-plus females get together for a much-anticipated Girls Night Out.

Last Thursday evening at Ancaster Old Town Hall, however, the Girls Night Out took on a different twist. Granted, there were cinnamon-scented candles on cloth-covered tables and delicate finger foods, but that was where the similarity between the traditional Girls Night Out ended, as conversations veered into such serious topics as the use of forensics in criminal justice and the seizure of $11 million in illegal drugs.

Organized by Hamilton police recruiter Const. Lorraine Edwards, the Ancaster Girls Night Out gave women a one-on-one, casual opportunity to candidly question female police officers about their careers.

“The idea is to encourage questions about being a female in policing and removing the barrier to encourage open communication,” said Edwards.

Fifty women of all ages from Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington and as far away as Woodstock took Hamilton Police Services up on its offer to learn about policing, the challenges and rewards from female officers like Sgt. Anette Huys, supervisor of forensics, Sgt. Denise Leonard, who is in charge of the mounted unit, one of the Hamilton police force’s newest recruits Const. Stephanie Sargent, Det. Const. Carolyne Rashford, who works in the east-end criminal investigation division and Staff Sergeant Nancy Lantz, a uniform patrol officer in central Hamilton.

Among the curious in attendance were Lindsay Drake and Yessica Milena, first-year students in Mohawk College’s Police Foundations studies. The two-year diploma program focuses on criminal, civil and provincial law and developing the skills required for a career in policing.

Burlington resident Drake, 18, said she has been “dying to be police officer forever.”

“The helping nature of the career appeals to me,” she said. “I want make sure the criminals aren’t running our streets, and just the thrill and the action.”

Once Drake finishes the Mohawk program, she plans to immediately submit her application to Hamilton Police Services.

Yessica Milena, also 18, has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live in a law-less community. She grew up in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Medellin, Colombia, before moving to Stoney Creek with her mother and sister when she was eight years old.

“Ever since I have been a kid, I wanted a career in policing,” she said. “I saw a lot of violence and a lot of crime, and that made me want to be a cop.

“I have seen a lot of bad things happen, and I always wanted to make sure things were better.”

Once she graduates from Mohawk, Milena hopes to get a job with Hamilton Police Services, but has her eye on the bigger prize of becoming a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

If the career goals of both young women reach reality, Hamilton police Supt. Debbie Clark said they will join a “team-rich environment” where the career opportunities are endless.

Clark joined Hamilton Police Services in 1988 as one of only 15 women in a force of about 750. She edged her way up the ranks and is currently serving as superintendent of the professional development division.

“Anything is possible,” Clark told the audience of women. “When I first started (with Hamilton police), I was ecstatic just to get hired and be able to drive a cruiser.”

During her 28-year career, Clark has served on the city’s first bicycle patrol, was a dugs and vice officer, started a community-based policing initiative that is now in use across city and in 2012 earned the Governor General’s Order of Merit for contributions that extend beyond protection of the community.

In January, Clark will transfer from the professional development division to a position that includes overseeing the Emergency Response Unit, the canine patrol, courthouse and communications, and hostage negotiations.

“It’s a great career,” said Clark. “You get to be your own boss, make your own decisions and work with like-minded people to have a positive impact on your community.”

Since Clark joined Hamilton Police Services, the number of female members has climbed to about 150 of 840 officers, an average of roughly 20 per cent.

Hamilton Police Services hosts Girls Night Out recruitment evening in Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2015 by Debra Downey Ancaster News

Manicures, giggles and maybe a glass of wine are usually on the agenda when 50-plus females get together for a much-anticipated Girls Night Out.

Last Thursday evening at Ancaster Old Town Hall, however, the Girls Night Out took on a different twist. Granted, there were cinnamon-scented candles on cloth-covered tables and delicate finger foods, but that was where the similarity between the traditional Girls Night Out ended, as conversations veered into such serious topics as the use of forensics in criminal justice and the seizure of $11 million in illegal drugs.

Organized by Hamilton police recruiter Const. Lorraine Edwards, the Ancaster Girls Night Out gave women a one-on-one, casual opportunity to candidly question female police officers about their careers.

“The idea is to encourage questions about being a female in policing and removing the barrier to encourage open communication,” said Edwards.

“Anything is possible. When I first started, I was ecstatic just to get hired and be able to drive a cruiser.”

Fifty women of all ages from Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington and as far away as Woodstock took Hamilton Police Services up on its offer to learn about policing, the challenges and rewards from female officers like Sgt. Anette Huys, supervisor of forensics, Sgt. Denise Leonard, who is in charge of the mounted unit, one of the Hamilton police force’s newest recruits Const. Stephanie Sargent, Det. Const. Carolyne Rashford, who works in the east-end criminal investigation division and Staff Sergeant Nancy Lantz, a uniform patrol officer in central Hamilton.

Among the curious in attendance were Lindsay Drake and Yessica Milena, first-year students in Mohawk College’s Police Foundations studies. The two-year diploma program focuses on criminal, civil and provincial law and developing the skills required for a career in policing.

Burlington resident Drake, 18, said she has been “dying to be police officer forever.”

“The helping nature of the career appeals to me,” she said. “I want make sure the criminals aren’t running our streets, and just the thrill and the action.”

Once Drake finishes the Mohawk program, she plans to immediately submit her application to Hamilton Police Services.

Yessica Milena, also 18, has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live in a law-less community. She grew up in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Medellin, Colombia, before moving to Stoney Creek with her mother and sister when she was eight years old.

“Ever since I have been a kid, I wanted a career in policing,” she said. “I saw a lot of violence and a lot of crime, and that made me want to be a cop.

“I have seen a lot of bad things happen, and I always wanted to make sure things were better.”

Once she graduates from Mohawk, Milena hopes to get a job with Hamilton Police Services, but has her eye on the bigger prize of becoming a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

If the career goals of both young women reach reality, Hamilton police Supt. Debbie Clark said they will join a “team-rich environment” where the career opportunities are endless.

Clark joined Hamilton Police Services in 1988 as one of only 15 women in a force of about 750. She edged her way up the ranks and is currently serving as superintendent of the professional development division.

“Anything is possible,” Clark told the audience of women. “When I first started (with Hamilton police), I was ecstatic just to get hired and be able to drive a cruiser.”

During her 28-year career, Clark has served on the city’s first bicycle patrol, was a dugs and vice officer, started a community-based policing initiative that is now in use across city and in 2012 earned the Governor General’s Order of Merit for contributions that extend beyond protection of the community.

In January, Clark will transfer from the professional development division to a position that includes overseeing the Emergency Response Unit, the canine patrol, courthouse and communications, and hostage negotiations.

“It’s a great career,” said Clark. “You get to be your own boss, make your own decisions and work with like-minded people to have a positive impact on your community.”

Since Clark joined Hamilton Police Services, the number of female members has climbed to about 150 of 840 officers, an average of roughly 20 per cent.

Hamilton Police Services hosts Girls Night Out recruitment evening in Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2015 by Debra Downey Ancaster News

Manicures, giggles and maybe a glass of wine are usually on the agenda when 50-plus females get together for a much-anticipated Girls Night Out.

Last Thursday evening at Ancaster Old Town Hall, however, the Girls Night Out took on a different twist. Granted, there were cinnamon-scented candles on cloth-covered tables and delicate finger foods, but that was where the similarity between the traditional Girls Night Out ended, as conversations veered into such serious topics as the use of forensics in criminal justice and the seizure of $11 million in illegal drugs.

Organized by Hamilton police recruiter Const. Lorraine Edwards, the Ancaster Girls Night Out gave women a one-on-one, casual opportunity to candidly question female police officers about their careers.

“The idea is to encourage questions about being a female in policing and removing the barrier to encourage open communication,” said Edwards.

“Anything is possible. When I first started, I was ecstatic just to get hired and be able to drive a cruiser.”

Fifty women of all ages from Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington and as far away as Woodstock took Hamilton Police Services up on its offer to learn about policing, the challenges and rewards from female officers like Sgt. Anette Huys, supervisor of forensics, Sgt. Denise Leonard, who is in charge of the mounted unit, one of the Hamilton police force’s newest recruits Const. Stephanie Sargent, Det. Const. Carolyne Rashford, who works in the east-end criminal investigation division and Staff Sergeant Nancy Lantz, a uniform patrol officer in central Hamilton.

Among the curious in attendance were Lindsay Drake and Yessica Milena, first-year students in Mohawk College’s Police Foundations studies. The two-year diploma program focuses on criminal, civil and provincial law and developing the skills required for a career in policing.

Burlington resident Drake, 18, said she has been “dying to be police officer forever.”

“The helping nature of the career appeals to me,” she said. “I want make sure the criminals aren’t running our streets, and just the thrill and the action.”

Once Drake finishes the Mohawk program, she plans to immediately submit her application to Hamilton Police Services.

Yessica Milena, also 18, has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live in a law-less community. She grew up in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Medellin, Colombia, before moving to Stoney Creek with her mother and sister when she was eight years old.

“Ever since I have been a kid, I wanted a career in policing,” she said. “I saw a lot of violence and a lot of crime, and that made me want to be a cop.

“I have seen a lot of bad things happen, and I always wanted to make sure things were better.”

Once she graduates from Mohawk, Milena hopes to get a job with Hamilton Police Services, but has her eye on the bigger prize of becoming a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

If the career goals of both young women reach reality, Hamilton police Supt. Debbie Clark said they will join a “team-rich environment” where the career opportunities are endless.

Clark joined Hamilton Police Services in 1988 as one of only 15 women in a force of about 750. She edged her way up the ranks and is currently serving as superintendent of the professional development division.

“Anything is possible,” Clark told the audience of women. “When I first started (with Hamilton police), I was ecstatic just to get hired and be able to drive a cruiser.”

During her 28-year career, Clark has served on the city’s first bicycle patrol, was a dugs and vice officer, started a community-based policing initiative that is now in use across city and in 2012 earned the Governor General’s Order of Merit for contributions that extend beyond protection of the community.

In January, Clark will transfer from the professional development division to a position that includes overseeing the Emergency Response Unit, the canine patrol, courthouse and communications, and hostage negotiations.

“It’s a great career,” said Clark. “You get to be your own boss, make your own decisions and work with like-minded people to have a positive impact on your community.”

Since Clark joined Hamilton Police Services, the number of female members has climbed to about 150 of 840 officers, an average of roughly 20 per cent.