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National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Inc.

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12

Sep, 2019

National Female Law Enforcement Day: Officer Bridget Allen

Let's take a moment to honor the remarkable women of Law Enforcement, especially Officer Bridget Allen, a 25-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff Department.

Born in Macon, GA and reared in Jacksonville, FL, Officer Allen has always felt a calling of service upon her life. While studying at Shaw University on her way to becoming a lawyer she returned home to be a caretaker for her mother. It was during this time she was introduced to Law Enforcement. After a conversation with her God Mother (Dorrell Lowe) she was introduced to the possibility of becoming a Correctional Officer at the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, FL.

Officer Allen's commitment to youth began when she first coached basketball and softball at her alma mater Jean Ribault Middle/ Senior High school. While interning in the school system and working at the detention facility she noticed a lack of resources and support for her students.

“I started seeing the resources for kids, or lack thereof. Kids without proper clothes or a meal to eat and not having a village behind them as I did. I had to do something about it,” said Allen.

As a means to give back to her community, she continued to work with youth through one on one mentoring sessions. After speaking with juvenile crime offenders and hearing their stories, she was further evoked to work with youth before they turned to crime as their means of survival.    


 

The well-known phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” had never rung truer. Taking it to heart, Allen jumped at the opportunity to add herself to Jacksonville PALs village for youth. Within the department, the same loving and supportive atmosphere can be found, especially when involving community policing. 

“Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton has really given us a platform at PAL,” said Allen “She continues to be an advocate for making a change for women in law enforcement and that is like a breath of fresh air for even when you find things challenging. You will always have those people that stand in the gap for you.”

Reflecting on her 25-year career in law enforcement, one thing she wishes she acquired at a younger age was better information and more awareness about law enforcement. At the time, she was not aware of the different branches or opportunities within law enforcement.


“Fortunately, we conduct the program ‘Lunch with a PAL’ where law enforcement officers visit high and middle schools and give kids the opportunity to talk to us one on one to learn about the different law enforcement careers and day to day duties, and generate positive dialogue with law enforcement said Allen. 

When asked the question “If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why? “Allen chose to be a lioness. 

Allen said, “Not only are they strong, fierce, and natural-born leaders, they know where they belong and take their rightful place.” 

 

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Charlotte, North Carolina 28262

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