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By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

Assistant Police Chief Finds Purpose on the Job in Inkster

 

September 1, 2022

CONSTANCE SLAPPEY Inkster Assistant Police Chief

Assistant Chief of Police Constance Slappey has been on the job with the Inkster Police Department less than four months, but already the new assistant chief is finding the contributions she brings to Inkster are being embraced. Slappey retired earlier this year from the Detroit Police Department at the rank of commander after serving that department for 25 years. Her experience in the Detroit Police Department included working various precincts and units including the department's homicide unit. "I loved the Detroit Police Department, it was very beneficial. The training and education that I acquired there really prepared me to be an assistant chief here for the Inkster Police Department," she says.

Slappey carries the distinction of being the first African American woman to hold the title of assistant chief of police in Inkster, a distinction she says speaks of the progressive style of thinking of the city and its leaders. "I believe in being a trailblazer so what I'm hoping for is that I'm not the last. Women across this nation are definitely well-trained and we are in demand, quite frankly, to hold positions like this and chief of police jobs; it you look nationally, we are on the rise," she says. "We are just as knowledgeable as our male counterparts and we want to work alongside them and be great partners so we appreciate it when we are given these types of opportunities." She adds that women often bring a methodical way of thinking and doing to the job, along with empathy and a softness to a traditionally male-dominated vocation.

Slappey says she was not initially interested in a career in law enforcement. She began at the Detroit Police Department at age 30, intrigued by the advantages of police work relayed to her by friends who worked on the force. "I thought maybe I'll try this. If I make it through the agility test and through the academy then I guess it's meant for me to be, and I was there 25 years and I loved it," she recalls. She says working as a police officer has helped her discover her purpose: to serve others. Throughout her career in law enforcement, Slappey says she has found it very rewarding interacting with residents in crisis and being able to bring an understanding to negative and often frightening situations, responding with legal options and solutions to a particular circumstance.

Whether it's Inkster, Detroit, or any city in America, Slappey says her top concern for residents is the epidemic of violence that seems to have erupted everywhere in recent years. "At the top of my list is always violent crime. We don't like when citizens shoot and hurt each other; to me that's extremely senseless, that's not the way that you resolve conflict," she says. "We don't have an abundance of it here in the city of Inkster, which is great, but to me even on a small scale it's still too much."

During her career in law enforcement, Slappey says the biggest and most positive trend in policing has been the addition of vehicle and body-worn cameras which bring transparency to police procedures. She adds that there are always two sides to every story and having every action recorded ensures policies and procedures will be examined.

Assistant Chief Slappey wants residents to know that she's happy to be given the opportunity to serve the city of Inkster and says she feels welcomed by the community. She adds that changes in the department are being made to better serve both the residents and the officers whom she says are working hard for them. Slappey says serving as a police officer continues her purpose to serve others. Her goal is to continually improve on the hard work the officers do daily. She adds, "What you hope is that you're bringing a different perspective to it (the job), and that the changes and recommendations that you bring are embraced, and I can say that I have that here."

 

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