I am honored to take the helm as president of NAWLEE and work alongside the other dedicated NAWLEE board members to continue to move our organization forward.
I realize there are very large shoes to fill succeeding Past President Deputy Chief Val Cunningham, and for the short time, Chief Dawn Tondini. I am grateful to Deputy Chief Cunningham for her continued leadership and commitment to the board in her extended past president position. She can’t get away from us that easily!
The strong, devoted women that comprise your 2018-2019 Board of Directors, never cease to amaze me: 1st Vice President Commander Paula Balafas, 2nd Vice President Deputy Chief Shannon Trump, our Treasurer Lieutenant Tammie Reeder, Secretary Captain Stacy Simmons, Associate Member-at-Large Inspector Cris Cunningham, Immediate Past President Deputy Chief Val Cunningham, and our Ex-Officio member Jackie Wasni, and Emily Allen. I thank them for their continued dedication to NAWLEE, its members, and our partners.
Prior to Chief Dawn Tondini’s resignation, she authored a detailed letter that can be found here in the NAWLEE winter newsletter. Chief Tondini wrote about the on-going work she our new executive cirector Kym Craven, and the rest of the NAWLEE board completed.
A notable accomplishment was that NAWLEE received its first ever COPS Office grant awarded by COPS Office Director Phil Keith. This grant will help NAWLEE evaluate the restrictive factors in existence for women already in law enforcement and those entering the policing profession. The project goal is to develop a curriculum for gender intelligence and awareness training which will be open to all law enforcement professionals. Long term, NAWLEE hopes to integrate this type of training into academy sessions with advanced training for supervisors and executives. Be ready to assist – we will be calling on you!
The one thing I have learned since being elected to the board is that it takes a village to move our organization forward and make it flourish. That village is you. The NAWLEE members all over the world that have the same passion and desire to further the efforts and positions of women in law enforcement make NAWLEE the successful organization that it has become. Inspiration, motivation, vision, and brilliance are common themes that I have personally experienced from the achievements of NAWLEE members and the stories that you all share.
Women are making history with their appointments to leadership positions all over the globe. The continued success of NAWLEE depends on each of our own commitment to empower one another and dedicate the time needed to build NAWLEE as it continues to gain relevance on a national front.
I want to personally thank those members of NAWLEE that keep coming back year after year to inspire new members – like I was only five short years ago. You are the foundation, the building blocks that make this organization possible. It is my hope that I can pay that magic forward by encouraging others to bring their own expertise and passion into leadership roles at NAWLEE. There is plenty of opportunity to serve our members and our profession without serving on the board, and one of my goals is to call upon NAWLEE members all over the world to participate in different areas of our organizational growth. Assistance can be given through committee work, representing NAWLEE at various events and/or police forums, writing newsletter articles, creating NAWLEE training programs, and continuing to recruit members.
In order to grow, we have to share that NAWLEE magic. I challenge each of you to recruit one new member this year; to reach out your hand to another woman in our profession so that they may experience the POWER that we ALL have had the opportunity to “feel” when we are supporting in our professional goals. For those of you who are new members, stay tuned for inspiration, and thank you for your support.
In five short months, we will gather for the 24th Annual Conference held on August 21 – 24, 2019. From the West coast last year in Los Angeles, California to the East Coast this year in Providence, Rhode Island, it is here that our village comes together for the advancement of women in the policing profession. Together with our partner the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement, we are creating a curriculum that inspires conversation and motivates progress in the delivery of police services at your own agency. Transformational conversations will be held on officer safety and wellness, crime prevention, human trafficking, leadership developing, creating positive working relationship and strategies to increase women in policing and in leadership roles.
In keeping with Immediate Past President Val Cunningham’s goals of making NAWLEE welcoming and inclusive of ALL ranks and genders, remember her words about the meaning of NAWLEE’s last “E” – “to EMPOWER, ENCOURAGE, EDUCATE, and ELEVATE.” It is my goal to continue to reach women at all ranks in an effort for our organization to help prepare them for future law enforcement leadership positions, while at the same time working with male leaders in order to help them see the benefit of prompting women as equals in their organizations.
We hope you take the time to register for the conference this year. Scholarships are now open for this year’s conference. Please take time to read the eligibility and reach out to a woman in your own organization or someone from a neighboring agency and encourage them to apply.
My letter would not be complete without a sincere thank-you for the continued support of our sponsors who make so much of our success possible. Our Founding Partner Motorola Solutions who every single year, recognizes the Women Law Enforcement Executive of the Year, with the WoLEEY Award presented at the annual conference and the host of others that continue to contribute to the success of NAWLEE women in policing.
As NAWLEE moves forward, I promise to work with the same integrity and fortitude of those women that have paved the way for us making NAWLEE what it is today. I further vow to work to move us ahead on that path towards growth in the best interest of our members and the policing profession. I firmly believe that leadership is all about the authentic human connection between people, and innovation occurs when we are genuinely open to others. For this, I encourage conversations, ideas, or thoughts that our members have about NAWLEE. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at president@NAWLEE.org. Remember, it takes a village…
Stay safe and innovate!
Anna Richardson Griffin
Lieutenant, Tampa Police Department