Officers build community
The Georgetown Police Department (GPD) is unusual in that 14 percent of sworn officers and a high number of civilian supervisors are female. Interested in coming together with these women outside of their daily jobs, Lt. Amy Janik, a 21-year veteran officer with the department, helped Capt. Evelyn McLean coordinate a female employees’ empowerment group in 2014.
“Originally, we met monthly to hear a motivational or inspiration speaker,” says Lt. Janik. “Then, we started getting together to volunteer or do something meaningful in the Georgetown community.” In 2015, the group was invited to participate in Habitat for Humanity Williamson County’s Women Build Week, an event the organizers says is intended to “empower women to help families build strength, stability, and independence.”
“That year,” says Lt. Janik, “we helped rehab a house in Old Mill Village in Georgetown. It was especially meaningful to help a member of the community in a different way than we do professionally.” The group participated again in 2016, rehabbing another home in the same neighborhood.
Lt. Renee Koog has been part of the Georgetown female officers group since the beginning. As a member of both Women Build Week teams, she says, “It was a way to give back to our community, to pay it forward to our neighbors. And it allowed us to work as a team in a new way.”
The group tries to tie community service into GPD’s professional mission to serve the Georgetown community and has the support of Georgetown Chief of Police Wayne Nero and City Manager David Morgan. “They both came out to the Habitat project last year to support us,” says Lt. Koog. “I feel privileged that our leaders promote community involvement and service outside of our job functions.”
While Habitat for Humanity Williamson County’s 2017 Women Build Week project will take place in Round Rock this May, the GPD group helped earlier this year with a new build home for a family of eight in Georgetown. “This is something many of us have been looking forward to,” says Lt. Koog.
Meanwhile, Georgetown PD is in the process of planning and rolling out its new “CommUNITY” program. “We look forward to this program being a model of community engagement,” says Lt. Janik.