From the left, Detective Brooke Dolmyer, Detective Christina Koziarski, Officer Katie Roshirt and Officer Nicole Palm stand in front of the West Bloomfield Police Department. The four women are among the seven female officers in the 78-person department.

From the left, Detective Brooke Dolmyer, Detective Christina Koziarski, Officer Katie Roshirt and Officer Nicole Palm stand in front of the West Bloomfield Police Department. The four women are among the seven female officers in the 78-person department.

Photo provided by Deputy Chief Curt Lawson


West Bloomfield Police shine light on female officers

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 6, 2018

WEST BLOOMFIELD — In a male-dominated field, it can be hard for women to adjust and find their place, much less do their job to their full capacity. Such is true for many women working in law enforcement. 

The West Bloomfield Police Department is home to 78 total officers. Six of those officers are women, plus one who is currently in the police academy. 

“Nationally, 10 percent of law enforcement is women,” said Nicole Palm, a patrol officer at the WBPD. She said the local department wants “to make that higher and (is) trying to do so. (Every department) is looking for educated, highly trained women.”

Palm said that before 1972 and an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women were given lesser roles because they were seen as lesser employees, especially in law enforcement. 

“Since that time, women have been more widely accepted in the public. … They continued to prove themselves and continued to be an asset,” she said. “Ninety-five percent of what we do is service-oriented. (Women) always find ways to de-escalate a situation, and right now, that’s all the rage in law enforcement.” 

Palm has been an officer for two years. She said that, personally, she doesn’t feel held back at all by her gender and she is happy with her experience in the department. 

Katie Roshirt is a school liaison officer. She has been an officer for six years and previously worked with two other departments before coming to West Bloomfield. Roshirt said that a woman’s experience varies by department, and she said West Bloomfield is doing well. 

“Communication is the most important thing you can bring with you,” she said. “Women in general are really good communicators and really good listeners. A lot of times, people just want someone to talk to. 

“As women’s role in departments have expanded, when it comes to community policing, women excel more. … We’re good at de-escalating, multitasking and handling things on our own.” 

Officer Rebecca Ensink said she has handled “multiple situations where I believe I was able to de-escalate a situation where I feel it may not have had the same outcome if it were a male officer. ... “Sometimes, people are more willing to open up to a female officer (rather than) a male officer because they feel as though we can relate.” 

Ensink said that there can be a downside, though: Some people might not take female officers as seriously as their male counterparts. 

She said that while size sometimes does matter, “nine times out of 10” she can do just as much as a male officer.

The department does not currently have initiatives or leadership opportunities geared specifically toward women, but there is a spirit of mentoring. 

“When we get new officers, I have encouraged some of our more seasoned female officers to talk to them about some things in the department and give them information,” said WBPD Deputy Chief Curt Lawson. 

All officers go through a basic training program at the department when they are hired on as an officer. 

Officer Asreta Yumny said that women wouldn’t be where they are without the encouragement of other officers, male and female. 

“(Women’s) bravery, creativity and verbal skills (are) what pushes us to protect our communities,” she said. “Women wouldn’t be as powerful as we are today without the encouragement from men within law enforcement. Together, we are a team.”