by Photo by Sarah Berjan

The San Diego Police Foundation (SDPF) honored three women during its 11th annual Women in Blue Luncheon, calling attention to the “striking balance of the heart and valor of women in policing”. 

The SDPF honored two officers and one public servant who embodies "a heart full of enthusiasm, driven with purpose and a spirit of valor in the face of adversity,” according to SDPF president and CEO Sara Napoli. 

“Before I came to this post, I would’ve told you blue is for boys. The truth is that across many cultures and generations, the color blue symbolizes trust, honor, and strength. I hope we know that these issues know no gender,” Napoli said.

The 2022 Women in Blue San Diego Police Department (SDPD) honorees include SDPD Senior Detective Lori Adams of the Homicide Cold Cases Unit, SDPD Records Administrator, and Silvia Satrom of the Human Resources Department, and SDPD officer Kalena Tutt of the Gang Intervention  Unit. The women were gifted a trophy representative of the glass ceilings they have shattered in their service to the San Diego community. 

“We are here to recognize some phenomenal women in law enforcement,” SDPD Chief of Police, David Nisleit said “Our departments comprise about 17 percent women. That is not where we want to be today, but we strive to be better.”

Detective Lori Adams has been with the SDPD for 26 years, and in the past decade, she was assigned to the Homicide Unit Cold Case detail. Adams is the first woman to serve in a long line of family in law enforcement. 

“Her work is unbelievable. The tenacity that she shows and her go-get-it attitude leave nothing unturned,” Nisleit said. “There was a case from 1969 that she solved. It is this kind of work that allows us to not only bring closure to the victim but the victim's family.”  

According to Adams, it takes a certain kind of person to be in law enforcement. 

She continued: “Women do have a special skill set. Some of that is our ability to be empathetic, compassionate, and understanding. Naturally, it's something that we all can do, and it comes through in a lot of the assignments, even the most difficult assignments. It does require some empathy and compassion because there is a victim and the victim's family on the other side of our conversation.” 

As the department’s Police Records Administrator for 14 years, Silvia Satrom was honored by the SDPF. She began her career with the SDPD as a 9-1-1 dispatcher in September 2007 and later transferred to the Police Human Resources as a clerical assistant. After several promotions, Satrom was selected in July 2021 to be the Police Records Administrator, where she is currently in charge of coordinating multiple layers of Police Human Resources Processes. 

“The fact that women are acknowledged should make a difference for the next generation. For them to learn and understand that women can do it, as long as you meet your goals and accomplish what you're looking for is good for all women in all generations,” Satrom said. 

The SDPF honored Officer Kalena Tutt, who began her career with the SDPD in 2014 while completing her Bachelor's degree in criminal justice at San Diego State University, where she played basketball and advanced to the prestigious NCAA tournament.  In 2019, Tutt joined the Gang Unit, where she developed curriculums for local youth to connect them with resources, skills, and programs to aid them in future success. 

“I'm pretty happy with my position because it's a hard calling for me. I work with kids and I mentor them to become better people, and that's something I wasn't afforded as a child,” Tutt said. 

Tutt often tells her students that she interacts with “it is not about where you came from, it's about where you choose to go from here”. 

According to the SDPF, the goal of this year’s Woman in Blue Luncheon is to promote diversity and inclusion at SDPD and raise $125,000. Chief Nisleit announced the department signed a "30×30" pledge, a national initiative to represent women in police recruitment classes to 30 percent by 2030. 

Police departments nationwide reported having an average of 11 percent of female officers in 2017, according to San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. The most recent police academy had 28 percent female recruits. 

“It is still relatively rare to see a woman in resonance to be uniform. I hope that we will live to see the day when female officers are no longer unusual. If so, we will have done our job to inspire the next generation of women,” Napoli said. 

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