Captain Shona Stokes always dreamed of being a police officer and now she is one of the highest ranked officers with Baton Rouge Police.
“Whoever asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would say with a smile on my face that I want to be a police officer,” said Stokes.
Captain Shona Stokes has been serving with the Baton Rouge Police department for 28 years.
“I can’t say it enough, I just love my job,” said Stokes.
A love and a passion she recognized at a young age
“In middle school I saw this female police officer and I just was at awe. I saw her from a distance and just from seeing her I knew I could do it. She gave me the confidence and motivation to just know that I could carry out my dream,” said Stokes.
She knew her dream wouldn’t come easy.
“As a female, you know right off that you have to try to set the standard and be the best in every capacity. I wanted to mentally and physically and prepare myself, so yes I did join the Army Reserve. I had to go to basic training and sure enough they toughened me up mentally and physically,” said Stokes.
After joining the force, Stokes knew she had to continue to excel in all aspects of the job.
“They depend on you. They don’t look at female, male. When they call for help they are looking for help, assistance. So I prepared and I still prepare. I workout, I seek spiritual guidance. I’ll be 52 years-old this year and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and the reason is I take my job serious,” said Stokes.
It’s that motivation and passion that helped her climb the ladder.
“The way I saw it was that I’m helping to make this community a better place to live. I enjoy helping people. I do.“
Stokes was recently promoted to captain.
She is now one of the 3 highest ranked women with BRPD.
“I feel honored. I will always try to lead by example. I respect this badge, this uniform, my image.
This is something I have worked for most of my life, to become a captain for the BRPD. I just want to be a role model for not just our young officers, but for our citizens as well.“
An example she hopes will help bridge the gap between police officers and the community.
”I remember being that young kid and each time I saw a police officer I wanted to meet that office.
And maybe one day kids will light up when they see police officers again instead of cringe,“ said Stokes.
She said with hard work, dedication and passion anything is possible.
For more Louisiana Women stories click here.