The Honolulu Police Department (HPD), Chief of Police, Susan Ballard joined our La Pietra students and guests on Friday, March 23 during a Co-Curricular Assembly.
La Pietra Junior Mary Watts introduced Chief Ballard stating, "Chief Susan Ballard became HPD's 11th chief and Hawaii's first female chief of police on November 1, 2017. She first joined the HPD in 1985 and has worked in multiple departments."
Ballard states, "I am the type of person who gets bored easily and I always want to learn something new. By joining the police department there are a wide range of opportunities. If you want to do narcotics, patrol districts, forensic science, research and development and so on, the department has all of the opportunities available."
After being in the department for 32 years, the transition to becoming Chief of Police was easy for her.
"I really haven't changed. I still see myself as the officer working down in Waikiki," stated Ballard.
While she started her career in teaching, she never knew that she would end up in the police department.
She states, "Everything happens for a reason. No matter what career you take, the higher up you go in an organization and the more promotions you get, the nicer you need to be. You already have the power and you're ultimately going to have the final say, but just keep that in mind that you must always treat people with respect. If you keep that in mind you are going to be successful in anything that you do."
Being in a male dominated industry, she explains the adversities that women in her field faced in the early and mid 1900's and how they have really paved the way for our future generations.
"Anything is possible. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. The women before you have paved the way and allowed you to be anything you want to be. The only glass ceiling we have left is the Presidency of the United States," continued Ballard.
She recognizes that only 11% of the Honolulu police department is female and would love to see it rise to 20%, 30%, or even 50%, but reiterates, "We have to take one step at a time."