Danielle Adams, a San Diego native from National City, knew she wanted to be in law enforcement from a young age and has been serving her community for 15 years now.
Adams began working for the National City Police Department at 21 years old, after attending Southwestern College’s Police Academy. She has experience as a field training officer, a cadet advisor, a de-escalation instructor and has worked on the crisis negotiation team in National City.
In recent years, she made her way to the Coronado Police Department and now works in the investigation unit as a detective.
Although she said her job moves at a slower, less showy pace than a CSI episode might have one believe, she still does important work in the community fitting together pieces of evidence in order to solve local crimes.
Adams has worked on a variety of programs and initiatives in San Diego, but she says her favorite has been her position as a cadet advisor. The program introduces young adults ages 14 to 21 to a profession in law enforcement. Cadets work alongside officers and train in a way that is similar to the police academy.
“It gives us a perspective on what teenagers are going through right now, which is super important,” Adams said. “And it gives them a perspective of what our job really is like. It was really cool to see those kids from 14 years old when they’re just feeling themselves out to now, they’re in their 30s. They’ve given back to their community in the way that the community was able to give to them when they were young.”
Adams also spoke about the importance of de-escalation techniques in law enforcement and the ways in which being a woman on the force can sometimes work to her advantage.
“I think the big deal is treating people with respect,” she said. “You get more with honey than you do vinegar, I have always found in my career; and maybe that is where being a woman helps because we’re less likely to fight. I mean, we can if we need to, [but] we’re less likely to want to get into those physical altercations than maybe our male counterparts sometimes.”
She added that, despite being a woman in a historically male-dominated field, she doesn’t feel her gender makes a difference in her professional experience and the way she is treated by her peers.
“I’ve never felt like I have gotten something or didn’t get something based on being a woman,” Adams said. “I think it’s always been based on my merit and my work ethic. There’s a little bit of proving yourself when you’re a new cop, but you do that anyways when you’re a new officer. I don’t even think that really is necessarily a male or female issue. In prior generations of officers maybe, but I feel like there’s a lot of women that paved the way for me that made it a lot easier.”
Adams said there can sometimes feel as though there’s a “wall” between law enforcement officers and civilians, but truthfully we’re all more similar than we may believe.
“I always tell people to talk to us, we’re humans,” she said. “I go home to my family at the end of the day, and I joke with my buddies here, and I joke with my friends that have nothing to do with law enforcement. We drink coffee, like everybody else. We’re far more similar to people that I think they really take a chance to look at.”
Adams said she has thoroughly enjoyed her work in Coronado and compared the tight knit community to Downtown Disney. She said she finds the most rewarding part of her job to be the times she can make people feel safe and find solutions to their problems.
“I hope that I will be able to leave a legacy for male and female officers coming up, where it makes it a little easier for them to do their job because I did my job to the best of my abilities,” she said. “That’s what my goal is once I retire after 30 years to be like, ‘Hey, I made it a little easier for the ones coming up,’ no matter how small it was.”
The Coronado Times welcomes ‘Queens of Crown City’ suggestions from our readers of local women to profile. Email your nomination here.