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Learning Law Enforcement While Being a Service to Her Community


Detective Dana Lewis, Portland Police Bureau, OR

Initially I wanted to be a lawyer. I was an accounting major in college and wanted to go to law school, but when I sought employment a police officer’s position came open.  I took the test, got hired, and have loved it ever since.

What attracted me to being a lawyer in the first place were the laws. Right now my goals and my career are exactly where I want them to be. I’m learning and applying the laws, but I’m also learning how to help and be of service to people, and I’m having a great time doing it. What I enjoy most about police work is helping people. I enjoy being able to help someone reach goals, overcome challenges, make progress, and move on.

My most memorable moment was when I became a school resource officer (SRO) and received a child abuse case. This child was already in the foster care system, and I realized that I had the ability to help her out of that situation and put her in an environment where she could prosper, finish her education, and better herself. Some time later she sent me a card with a letter thanking me for the work that I did. At that moment I felt like I actually had a hand in changing someone’s life for the better. It was a great feeling.

You have to be a special type of person to do this job. It’s not just about the money; it’s hard work. You have to be motivated. You need enthusiasm to do the work, and you have to want to help people. If becoming an officer is something you want to do and if your heart’s in the right place, you can do it. I think it’s important to ask yourself on a consistent basis whether you’ve made the right career move. What keeps me saying yes to that question are the experiences that I’ve gained and the education that I’ve received.

Learn more about Portland Police Bureau at: http://www.portlandonline.com/police/

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