Nikki Gillard/MPD Photos
By Becky Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org
MARSHALL – Marshall Police Department’s Officer Jessica Chiles, 32, credits her children with her career choices. “I became an officer because it was a calling, and something that was in my heart,” Chiles said. “My kids influenced me because I want a better – safer place for them to grow up in.”
Chiles grew up in Oklahoma. She initially came on at the MPD as a dispatcher before training to be a police officer. She has been a part of MPD for three and half years.
When asked how her family felt about her decision to be a police officer, Chiles said, “Some didn’t believe I could do it, while others knew I would, but they were scared for my safety.”
Being a woman in a primarily male-dominated career has been different for Chiles. “It can be challenging at times. You will always have those male officers that try to ruin and degrade you because of their own insecurities, but you also have others who wholeheartedly support you and push you to be a better officer,” she said.
In looking at qualities a woman police officer should exhibit that could be different than a male police officer, Chiles said, “Don’t forget who you are, and where you came from.”
“She should be willing to work, and not let anything stop her, and of course, treat people like you hope someone would treat your family,” she said. “If a woman really wants to be a police officer, I say, do it. If you really want it for the right reasons, don’t give up, and do it.”
Chiles has learned a lot about life since she became a police officer. “I learned that people in crisis just need guidance sometimes or someone to just listen to their problems. I’ve learned all kinds of techniques and skills on this journey,” she said.
The public seems to have many misconceptions about police officers. When asked if she could clear one up, what would it be and why, Chiles said, “That we have nothing better to do than bother the public.”
“In reality, we are doing our job, we are human too,” Chiles said, “and a majority of us are in this field to help others in their time of need.”