Crystal Young-Haskins | Little Rock Police Department | Assistant Chief of Police
Career Evolution… Since joining the police department, so many advancements in law enforcement have put the profession center stage as a STEAM-related industry with the integration of various technology into our operations. The technology is wide-ranging from body worn cameras, moisture management uniforms, computer aided dispatching, L.I.D.A.R traffic enforcement, information sharing systems, gun fire detection, forensics and reality based training systems – just to name a few. I don’t anticipate the advancements to slow down anytime soon as LRPD works to deliver better services to the community and ensure officer wellness.
Beginning Interests… I wanted to become a lawyer. However, I became a mother and deferred that dream. I was always intrigued by detectives growing up watching crime shows and thought a career in law-enforcement would be the closest thing to the law. I spoke with my neighbor who was a municipal law enforcement officer and my high school resource officer. He encouraged me to apply for police recruit with the City of Little Rock and explained I would have the most opportunities there. I did so. And, I’ve never looked back or regretted the decision. I have met some very inspiring people along this journey and I’ve been fortunate enough to have great mentors to guide me along the way. It hasn’t been easy, but I do feel as if it is a part of my ministry on earth to be a peacekeeper.
Day at Work… I listen to National Public Radio and Start Here morning podcasts to catch up on the news. I make sure my children know I love them and I want them to have a good day. Many mornings on the drive to the office, I talk to my mom and she helps set the tone for the day with her humor. I begin each day with a cup of blonde roast coffee. That gets my brain charged up to LISTEN, LEARN, HELP and then LEAD. Most days are filled with meetings, interacting with my staff and following up with citizens.
LOVE the Work… My coworkers and the community make the work interesting every day. New challenges – there are always things to learn and things to relearn. I get the most satisfaction when I’m working with people to solve simple and complex problems. Technology speeds the process, but I enjoy the personal contact.
Surprising but True… I want young women to embrace STEAM careers. Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics industries are the future. The capacity to work in these industries for women is innate. Most women are already doing the work.
Advice… Shamelessly, I highly recommend young women to pursue a career in law enforcement. It is a comparatively stable career that offers benefits and pensions after 20 years of service. Most importantly it provides an avenue to do work that impacts our community. There are many specialties in this profession and you definitely will get your STEAM every day you are in uniform. My strongest advice is to never allow any barrier – real or perceived – hold you back. Always aim high. You will undoubtedly land exactly where you were meant to be.
These wonder women are redefining what “full STEAM ahead” means in Arkansas. With exciting careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – each reflects WIT (Women in Tech) and true grit for making the most of every opportunity. Here’s to the powHER of knowledge.