Women play an important role at the Torrance Police Department, and we would like to share the personal perspective of law enforcement and our Department from a few of the women that have chosen a career with our Department.
Hello, my name is Laura Patti and I've been a Torrance Police Officer for 12.5 yrs. Prior to becoming a police officer I attended college, received a BA in Physical Education and a teaching credential. I completed my student teaching, accepted a teaching position, then took a full time job as a recreation coordinator with the City of West Hollywood.
I wanted to be a police officer from the time I was eight years old. However, in high school I realized that my 5'2" stature would prevent me from becoming an officer as the height requirements disqualified me. While working in West Hollywood as a recreation coordinator I worked closely with the Sheriff's Department and the common question was, "Why aren't you a cop?", to which I replied, that I was too short. They informed me that the height requirements were lifted, and I just had to be proportionate height to weight. The rest is history.
The biggest question I get asked as a female officer is how the male officers respond to me. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female as long as you can do the job. We all want to know that we can depend on one another, and that you're going to back one another up in any kind of confrontation, especially life threatening.
I picked the Torrance Police Department because I knew so much about the community. I worked in the Parks and Recreation Dept. since I was a teenager and owned a home in Torrance. Two of my former softball coaches were Torrance Police Officers and I had a lot of respect for them. This community loves their officers, and they always let us know it. I get approached weekly by some citizen thanking me and my fellow officers for the job we do and telling me how much they appreciate us.
The guys and gals are wonderful, I love working here at Torrance.
Law Enforcement provides an officer with numerous career options. Though every officer is required to do some time in uniformed patrol, there are other details that might fit his/her personality better. In Torrance, there are a variety of positions to choose from, ranging from Gangs to Shopping Center Detail, from K9 to Community Relations, from Investigations to Traffic/Motors. And so many more! You'll never be bored unless you allow yourself to be.
I have been a Torrance Police Officer for 11 years and have worked Patrol, Crime Scene Investigations (Forensics), Personnel (Hiring new officers), and Juvenile Detectives. I excitedly look forward to the upcoming years and all the different assignments I have yet to experience!
Contrary to popular belief, a law enforcement career can be easily juggled with family life, with just a little flexibility. Some people ask me how I can continue to work with a toddler at home, and I tell them that work is a good balance for me. Now, with a little seniority, I am home every night and the 4-day workweek allows me 3-day weekends with my son, husband (and daughter to come in May). It would probably be a different story if I didn't enjoy my career as much as I do!
The Torrance Police Department is a family-friendly environment. It has been my experience that the administrators and supervisors at TPD all truly believe that family comes first. There will always be a partner or other officers to take care of "business" at work, but you're the only one who can take the best care of your family.
A Law Enforcement Career obviously is not for everyone. But if you want a career where every single day proves to be different, interesting, exciting, and challenging, this could be it. The feeling you will get from truly helping someone in despair is one of the most gratifying you could imagine.