Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not Just a Career—A Calling

by Connie Park

This past August, I celebrated my 13th anniversary with the Houston Police Department. I was only 25 years old when I started the police academy and not really knowing what to expect. The only expectation I had was to meet the goals and challenges of pursuing a career I was so passionate about. After thirteen years in law enforcement, the opportunities and experiences I’ve had have exceeded all my expectations.

My first assignment was nightshift patrol at the Westside station with Mondays and Tuesdays off. Days off were determined by department seniority. Needless to say, I was one of the rookies that just got off the probationary program. Wow, I was an official police officer! The first years of being an officer were the most exciting times. Everything was new and I was learning so many different things. The adrenaline stemming from catching the “bad guys” is an experience that all young officers lived for. You were actually making an impact on the community. I lived and breathed police work and was amazed that I was actually getting paid for doing something I loved.

When I first hit the streets, I felt like I had something to prove and that I had to show my fellow officers that I could handle the job. I wanted to demonstrate that I was capable and could do the job as well as any other male officer. I soon realized all the pressure I had placed on myself was from my own expectations and from no one else. I quickly got to know my fellow beat officers and we all worked well together and took care of one another. Don’t get me wrong, just like any other family, we all had our differences and opinions and our share of disagreements. But by the end of the day, we knew we could rely on each other and we made sure we all went home safely at the end of the shift to our families. The special camaraderie we shared was one of the reasons I became an officer, a unique bond and understanding.

Through the years, I came to the realization that I didn’t have to prove my abilities as a police officer to others. I didn’t have to work or try twice as hard because I was a female officer. I learned that I needed to develop my own policing style and that it wasn’t about seeking approval or recognition from others. I learned that police work was about self gratification and that the gratification came from me knowing that I had a positive impact in people’s lives. We are ALL police officers regardless of our gender and we all share a common goal.

I have been fortunate to work in Homicide for the past eight years and it has been such an invaluable experience. I’ve learned from the best homicide investigators and have had great mentors who have guided my career. There were numerous times that we worked throughout the night, nonstop, in order to solve heinous crimes where innocent lives were taken and families were changed forever. All of the hard work, energy, and long hours placed upon the investigations have been well worth it and made my journey within the police department an amazing experience that I would never change. One can never take away the pride we as officers experience together.


Stacy Dittrich said...


Congratulations--a truly admirable feat. I was one, of two, females first hired at a police department. We had to share the men's locker room, etc..I certainly have my share of stories.

Making homicide in 5 or so years in incredibly impressive. Those little girls out there looking at women like yourself certainly have one hell of a role model!!!

I'm so proud to be part of a group of women that includes someone like yourself...Pat yourself on the back!!!

Diane Fanning said...

Thank you, Connie, for all you do!


My name is Matt Wingo, retired Brazoria County District Attorney. I am admin on a civvy site owned by Kristy Gault. We have posted Connie on our site in honor of her achievements. I am personally familiar with HPD Homicide having worked many cases with them over the years ahhh, ol Jim Montero, Bonnie Montero, Tom Ladd, Mike Kardatzke, Jim Binford and other old curmudgeons..

I know that this is a cream of the crop detail,

Good Luck

Connie Park said...

Thank you for your support Stacy and Diane! I'm the lucky one to work with a group of talented women who motivate many.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Connie Park said... are right about the curmudgeons. They are the cream of the crop. They've all soon retired but they have made their mark here at HPD.

Thanks for your support.


I scrolled down finally and this is a list of some very powerful ladies. Some I know. Ms Scardino, would never want to go against her and her companion in defense Jimmy Phillips.

Those curmudgeons, I wish they were still around, makes me so sad..I know there are others such as you replacing them but I know of no finer men and women as them. I know of no finer division anywhere in this world as HPD homicide.

I worked many with them and my dad Cecil Wingo was Chief of the Medical Examiners office then,, what an era and you must recall as well for example 1982, over 1000 homicides.

What era.

If ever I may do to help please let me know. Now that I know of your blog I will be coming back.

I am a nobody now but the desire to help remains.

Even if emails and number are not allowed here goes and 832 888 2764.

Still in investigations and primarily in Houston. Please , I ask you contact me for any need.

Later I will introduce you to another lady, Kristy Gault who runs the rag tags at officialcoldcaseinvestigations. Please visit us, dont mind me there I am just a loose cannon barking at things.

We have fine people there including officers from all over. As you know the lifeblood of investigation is information, networking is a method of obtaining information. Use us, that is what we are for.

Good luck and holler