Spotlight on Patrol Officer Kyra Woods

| July 29, 2015
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

As always, I hope all is well with you and yours and that you’re still taking time out of your day to bring yourselves some well deserved joy, beauty, happiness and some form of peace of mind as we travel, on our journey of love, to get to know one another better.  On that note, it pleases me to introduce to you this week’s spotlight because gaining an understanding on one’s responsibility to one’s self, as well as to others can be a determining factor in our way of life and preserving it.  So at this time, all we want you to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy because Frost Illustrated is going to take you there:

Fort Wayne Police Officer Kyra Woods

Fort Wayne Police Officer Kyra Woods

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Kyra Woods.  I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Ind., and my parents are Maxine Coats and Tony Woods.  I’m a patrol office on the Southeast quadrant of Fort Wayne and I’ve been in this position for 15-and-a-half years.  My responsibilities include, patrolling the southeast side of town, responding to 911 calls or non-emergencies.  Also, part of our duties is being a neighborhood liaison officer and, basically, we’re assigned a certain area of the city and we work with that neighborhood.  So if they’re having any problems, we can try to get them solved.  And, in the assigned neighborhood, if there’s an abandoned house and people are hanging out there that shouldn’t be, we try to keep an eye on that.  Or, if there’s a house with broken windows and they can’t get a hold of the owner or the owner won’t do anything about it, we try to help them with neighborhood code and things such as that.

“A patrol officer’s training is extensive and there’s a six month process before we get to the academy.  We have to undergo background checks, written and physical test, interviews, lie detector test and etc.  Once that completed, we spend five months in the academy where we are trained extensively.  We also learn the laws and we must be in good physical condition.  Once we get out of the academy, we’re out on the street for a six-month probation period that’s supervised and we’re learning the day to day duties.  When you’re in the academy, they just go through the scenarios but when you get out on the street, this is real.  After that, there’s a six-month unsupervised probation period and, as long as we make that, we’re good to go on the street by ourselves.

“As a patrol officer, I’d like to see, the citizens and the police at least try to come together and work together.  I know, with all the stuff that’s going on in the country, citizens and police officers do not get along but all officers are not bad.  You have bad in every profession.  You have bad doctors, attorneys, preachers and etc., but unfortunately when one officer is bad, the stigma goes out to all officers and that’s not true to every officer.  I just want us to come together, get to some kind of ground where we can trust each other and understand us better.

“A lot of times, we have to deal with people that are very defensive in their mannerism, as well as in their tone of voice and I understand that because of what’s going on in the city but if you are pulled over and the officer ask you a question, just answer it.  And, I don’t think, getting smart is going to help the situation but if an officer doesn’t inform you why they stopped you, you are allowed to ask why.  Also, if an officer asks to see your hands, just do it because we need to feel you’re not a danger to us.  We’re not trying to be mean, we’re trying to feel safe because we shouldn’t have to wonder if this guy or girl is going to pull something out of their pockets to harm us.  Also, from our end, you should expect a courteous, polite officer and if the officer that stopped you is rude and disrespectful, you can ask and should ask for their supervisor and make it known because it goes both ways—what we expect out of the public and what the public should expect out of us as officers.

“Growing up, it was a toss up for me between being a police officer and a lawyer.  I leaned more into the law aspect of it because being a police officer was a dangerous job.  So I went to school and got my degree as a paralegal and I worked in the courthouse for a judge for five years and I got bored with it because it was the same thing everyday. I knew my job so well, that I could do it in my sleep and I could even tell someone how to do it over the phone and it just wasn’t exciting for me.  So, I left there, went to the police records department and assisted officers with minor crime scenes. I had to go to the jail and fingerprint everybody that was arrested in Allen County, as well as, other duties.  I did a couple of ride-a-longs and that just confirmed that I wanted to be an officer and here I am.  

“I love my job and I love my city.  I just hope we can come to some conclusion where the citizens and the police can work together instead of against each other.  My greatest joy, is helping people and I don’t expect a thank you from anyone because I’m doing my job, but, it’s really nice to hear it while making a difference in somebody’s life.  

“And, if there’s anyone out there who thinks they’re interested in becoming a patrol officer, you have to make sure this is really what you want to do because it’s more than what you see on television.  A lot of what you see can be stressful from what you see day to day at certain crime scenes and so, you have to a have a passion for it.  You have to have a passion because you’re dealing with all types of people and everybody’s not going to always like you.  Along with having a passion for people and really wanting to do this, you must make sure you stay in shape.  It’s also good to talk with an officer about what they do and what you can expect.  You can also go to the police dept and request a ride-along so you’ll know what some of the day to day duties are of officers.  But before that can happen, they’ll do a background check on you, you’ll sign a waiver and they can put you with somebody or if you know a specific officer that you’d like to ride-along with, if they’re available, you can do that too.”

Now in closing I say, fantastic job, Kyra, and I’m so proud of you.  Keep up the good work on making our city a safer place for all of us.  So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye, bye, babies.

P.S.  If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love,  just send me an e-mail to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo. com.  I’d love to hear from you.

P.P.S.  I’d like to thank all of you who have been sending me e-mails to give me some feed back on our journey.  Keep up the good work & to those who haven’t please feel free to do so because I’d love to hear from you too.

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Category: Community, Crime & Safety, Features, Local, People

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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