The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is proud to recognize the countless contributions and amazing accomplishments of women all over the world.
Not just during Women’s History Month but everyday CMPD is honored to have our female law enforcement officers that selflessly pour into the lives of others whether on or off duty.
In the Recruitment Division of CMPD, three female Officers Kristina Frazita, Jean Wassenaar, and Sergeant. Candace Miles graciously shared their journey to a career in law enforcement and why they come to work every day.
The division works year-round, attending and hosting job fairs, hiring events, and searching nationwide all to help bring the best suited and qualified applicants to serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.
Here are their stories:
Originally from Western New York, Officer Kristina Frazita has been a CMPD officer for nearly 18 years. Her current assignment is in recruitment and background investigations. Officer Frazita says she didn’t consider a career in law enforcement until she was in college. However, watching her father serve their community for years as a firefighter inspired her to serve as well.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” said Officer Frazita.
After her brother was recruited to CMPD she did a couple of ride alongs with him and a few other officers and that experience solidified her decision to join law enforcement.
“That was my ‘aha moment’! No day is the same, there is a lot of excitement, and I could really see myself growing in this profession,” added Officer Frazita.
Officer Frazita believes female officers show women that it is possible to find a place and succeed in the profession. “If you’re a good communicator and you have common sense and a passion for serving others, this job is for you.”
Officer Jean Wassenaar started her career with CMPD in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. With previous law enforcement experience at detention centers, working with juveniles, as well as being a physical education teacher at a local high school. Joining CMPD was a fresh start for Officer Wassenaar.
She began working in the recruitment division four years ago and wants to finish off her career helping to bring in new talent to CMPD.
Officer Wassenaar says that female officers bring a different element to policing and can set the tone in various situations as well as relate to victims on sensitive matters.
“There are so many opportunities. It is a very rewarding career; you can’t go wrong. You have to look at the other side of it, and it can be dangerous just like anything in this world,” added Officer Wassenaar.
She cites CMPD background investigator Joanna Thomas as an important mentor and influence in her law enforcement career here at CMPD.
Charlotte native Sgt. Candace Miles has been with CMPD for 11 years. Growing up in west Charlotte she recalls law enforcement not being well-liked and seeing a lot of the negative side of policing. As she got older, she began to see things differently and discovered the good in policing.
“The environment you grow up in, you see different things from other people in different sides of Charlotte,” said Sgt. Miles. “You can’t help where you were raised but what you can do is be a part of that change.”
After getting promoted to patrol sergeant three years ago, she soon put in to become a recruitment sergeant. A strong desire to help retain new officers is what drove her into recruiting.
Sgt. Miles says she really enjoyed doing ride alongs with recruitment applicants and showing off Charlotte and showing them the human side of policing.
“It’s extremely important to have women in leadership,” said Sgt. Miles “There are women who are great officers, detectives, who can be and are positive role models for females across the board regardless of whatever rank they are in.”
Sgt. Miles prides herself in being fair across the board and says that mentality came from female CMPD officers past and present that have inspired her.
Currently, CMPD has 241 female officers ranking from officer to deputy chiefs of police.
Women of CMPD, thank you for all that you do!