Breaking Down Barriers: Celebrating Women’s History Month with Shellie Salser
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to recognize the many women who have made significant contributions to their field and communities. One such woman is Shellie Salser who has dedicated 35 years of her life to protecting and serving her community. Throughout her career she has overcome numerous challenges and broken- down barriers for women in law enforcement. Her commitment to her community has made a positive impact on countless lives, and her story serves as inspiration to women in the field. We are inspired by Shellie’s story and how she, like many women in law enforcement, has made such an impact in the male-dominated industry.
The Beginning of Shellie Salser’s Journey: Inspiration for Women’s History Month
Off Duty Management’s own Shellie Salser celebrates Women’s History Month with us. Shellie recently retired after 35 years in law enforcement. “I got my first job by happen-stance,” Shellie told us. “I was hired by a sheriff’s office in Colorado as a Jail Booking and Records Technician.”
The Next Steps
She spent two years in that role; however, her future was about to take an unexpected turn. Several police officers encouraged Salser to join the police force. “They saw something in me that I did not see in myself.”
Shellie went on to become a 911 Dispatcher, eventually followed by an Animal Control Officer position. Soon after, she was given the opportunity to attend the Police Academy. “I worked my way up in my law enforcement career by gaining experience in detentions, patrol, investigations, and administration at all ranks before I retired at the rank of Commander.”
How have you seen law enforcement change for women since your first day as an officer?
“When I started out in law enforcement, there were very few women. At my agency, in a total bench strength of about 500 sworn officers, only 20 were female. There were very few women in leadership positions.”
“We worked hard to prove that we were of value in a predominantly male profession. Over time and with improved training and a shift in mindsets, women have earned the respect of our peers and made our place at the leadership table.”
In what ways do you think women have made and will continue to make an impact in law enforcement?
“Women have brought a different dynamic into law enforcement that was not the ‘norm’ in years past. Women are incredible problem solvers and are rated very high in interpersonal communication skills, which helps us in building and maintaining positive relationships.”
“There is tremendous value in a woman’s ability to relate with differing perspectives to find common ground and move initiatives forward.”
What would you say to a woman considering pursuing a career in law enforcement?
“For anyone considering a career in law enforcement – GO FOR IT! There will be challenges, and it’s not always an easy journey, but at the end of the day, it is truly a life choice that you can be proud of. YOU can make a difference!”
“Becoming a police officer was never even a thought when I was growing up. The individuals who mentored and coached me along my journey were what lit a fire in me. They helped me find my version of a successful career in policing, and for that, I am forever grateful.”
Thank You Shellie Salser!
In conclusion, thank you, Shellie, for your committed service to Colorado and for all you have done to make the law enforcement industry a better place for all women. As a result, women can continue to draw inspiration from your successful career.