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Maryland trooper strives to be ‘role model’ for other women

Maryland State Police Sgt. Quintina Walker knew she wanted to be associated with state troopers the moment she first caught a glimpse of their professional-look...

Maryland State Police Sgt. Quintina Walker knew she wanted to be associated with state troopers the moment she first caught a glimpse of their professional-looking uniforms.

In her mind, the shined brass and polished boots were impressive and “the epitome of a police official.”

“The troopers seemed to represent something bigger than themselves, and I saw myself in that,” Walker said.

While Walker didn’t have any history of family members being involved with law enforcement, her father had been in the Marines.

The trooper uniforms reminded Walker of the discipline and professionalism exhibited by proud members of the military such as her dad.

“When I did apply for a job with the state police, I told my father that this was my form of military,” Walker said. “He understood that, and my family has always been completely supportive.”

Walker, who has been with the Maryland State Police for nearly 20 years, said she believes she has a “special responsibility” to serve others and have a positive impact on the community.

“The fact that I can help people brings me a lot of pride,” Walker said. “It brings me joy to know that someone sees me as a beacon of hope or safety.”

Walker provided one example from a Charles County community event, which was an opportunity for police to go into neighborhoods and meet residents.

A family of five approached Walker and had a very nice conversation, with children in the family even giving her a hug.

“That meant more to me than anything,” Walker explained. “Now when I do any community engagements I look for them, and I actually saw them again recently at the Charles County Fair and it brought the biggest smile to my face.”

Walker said she feels a deep responsibility to be a role model, not only because she has a position as an authority figure, but because she is a women serving in a profession that in some cases is dominated by men.

She strives to set a good example and inspire others.

“As a female, it’s important for me to show other females that they are welcome and that they can do this job and wear this uniform and perform at high levels just like their male counterparts,” Walker said.

The job has evolved

Law enforcement looks a lot different now than it did when Walker first started.

That’s especially true when considering all the technological enhancements and developments that have emerged over the years.

“Our department has done a great job in adapting over time with ways to assist us as we do our jobs,” Walker said. “Our vehicles are better, similar to mobile offices now, and they are equipped with helpful technology including in-car cameras.”

Police body-worn cameras have become prevalent.

“We’re still adapting and getting familiar with those,” Walker explained. “I think in the long run, they will be a great tool for us.”

Cameras can be useful for members of the public who are hoping to make their neighborhoods more secure and potentially help investigators solve crimes.

High-quality surveillance cameras placed on homes and businesses can provide important footage and sometimes even clear audio of what happened during an incident.

“Those are great tools,” said Walker. “They help law enforcement especially in terms of identifying suspects.”

A “Ring” camera on someone’s front door, for example, can be invaluable for a police officer who is trying to identify a robbery suspect.

Other changes

Other technological changes that have affected law enforcement have occurred in society in general and don’t necessarily have any direct connection to police.

Social media is one of those innovations.

It helps with investigations when police are trying to immediately get information out to masses of people.

“That is one of the changes that has helped our profession greatly,” Walker said.

Information-sharing has become more important not only from police to the public, but among various police departments themselves.

According to Walker, Maryland State Police officials conduct daily briefings in order to keep track of significant incidents, whether it be the seizure of a firearm or the arrest of a particular suspect.

Such events are recorded in the briefings and disseminated to local municipalities across the state in order to consistently keep them in the loop and help them understand what’s happening around them.

“We work well with other agencies and rely on each other to solve cases and find missing persons,” Walker said. “Essentially, we are all in this together.”

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