Janet Pickard has served with the MUW police department for almost eight years. In her current job as dispatcher, Pickard handles incoming calls to the police department and keeps track of which officers are where during her shift. In this spotlight, Pickard shares her journey to The W and her advice to the students here with her.
Q: What brought you to The W?
A: “I was looking for a job, and there already was an officer that was employed here at the police department here at The W. And he mentioned it to me and I thought sounds like something that kinda affiliated with what I was already doing to some degree. So I applied for the job, went in for the interview, got the job. Love it, love the people, but I love my kids. I know that they [the students] are all young adults, but at my age they’re like kids.”
Q: How did you become an officer?
A: “The opportunity came up that we could go . . . and PT - you know, the physical test - and PT and see about becoming an officer, so that’s what I did. I was 57 when I did that. I was the oldest and the only female.”
Q: What obstacles did you overcome?
A: “Running. I can’t run worth a flip. I would work 12 hours here, go to the gym… you know. One evening, I would go to the walking track, jog around it. The next time I would go to, like, the power training, to build up or do the push-ups that was required. I could triple the amount of push-ups I needed to do. I did meet the requirement for me to graduate, but it was a struggle every step. I’m just not a runner. The only way I was going to quit was if they sent me home. I would never have been satisfied with myself had I quit.”
Q: What advice do you have for students?
A: "Make good choices. Think about the choice you're making in any situation. How would that reflect in your future? Because sometimes, one wrong decision- one spur-of-the-moment reaction- can change the course of your life. Make good choices, good decisions. Think about, "How will it impact your life? How will whatever situation that comes up- the choices you make, how will that impact your life and what bearing will it have on your future?"