LPM Staff

Life of crime (fighting)

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michelleBlancoYears of service: 16

Education/training: Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology; Master’s Degree in Education

Career highlights: I graduated from the Phoenix Regional Police Academy in 1997 and worked as a patrol officer for two years. Following my time in patrol, I was selected as the first female Public Housing Officer for the Glendale Police Department. In 2001, I was assigned to the Special Enforcement Unit, an undercover stolen property and narcotics unit, and was recognized with the Detective of the Year award in 2003 for my work in this unit. In 2004, the Special Enforcement Unit received the Unit of the Year award for the amount of undercover investigations and narcotics seized. In 2006, I transferred to the Fraud Investigation Unit and then moved again to the Violent Crimes Unit in 2007. I was the first female detective assigned to the Homicide Unit. Most recently, I joined the Personnel Management Unit as a Recruiter/Background Investigator in 2011.

On the job/ valuable learning experience: Through my experiences in many different assignments, I have learned to treat the citizens of Glendale with respect and compassion. Police officers typically come in contact with citizens when they are in need and sometimes it’s the worst time in their lives. I have learned to empathize with people and treat them as I would want to be treated.

Why did you decide to pursue this career? My father was a Marine and served in the Vietnam War. He was my hero and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I chose to become a police officer to make my parents proud.

How do you balance your career and personal life? I have spent the majority of my career working in Investigation Units where calls out and long hours are routine. To keep balance in my life, I remind myself that my family is the most important thing in my life. I take an active part in their lives and make sure I am always there for them. Having a strong, balanced family life tends to make you have a strong, balanced career.

Final word: Law enforcement is a very rewarding career and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, except for being a stay-at-home mom. As a recruiter, I get the opportunity to be a role model for women who are considering a career in law enforcement. Many people have the misconception that you need to be the biggest and the strongest person to be a police officer. That’s not true. You do have to be mentally and physically fit and be prepared for what you may encounter on the streets. For those who genuinely want to help people and make a difference in their lives, a career in law enforcement provides that opportunity. My role with the Glendale Police Department allows me to guide people looking at this career and help them to realize their dreams. 

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