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Latinas in Leadership: Officer Jessica Trujillo

March 3, 2020

In honor of International Women’s Day, Canal Alliance has chosen to elevate the stories and perspectives of some of the powerful and inspiring women in our community. From policy to education, and advocacy to community policing, Hispanic women are changing the face of leadership in Marin County.

Q&A with Officer Jessica Trujillo

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Employer: San Rafael Police Department

Hello, my name is Jessica Trujillo and I am a Police Officer with San Rafael Police Department.  I’m 28 years old and I was born in the United States.  However, both of my parents are full Mexican.  I am proud to say that I am the youngest child in my family and that I am full Mexican-American.  I decided to pursue a career in Law Enforcement to try and show the community that officers can understand their way of living.  I’m hoping to grow within the field and show that size, gender, background or race does not matter when you try to reach your goals.  

Canal Alliance:    How did you come to your current profession with the Police Department?
Officer Jessica Trujillo: I have always been fascinated by the uniform and strength that officers display.  I loved seeing how their presence brought order to certain situations. I knew since I was a young girl that I wanted my presence to help bring order in tough situations. 

CA:     How do you define a leader in community policing?
JT: A leader for me is someone who could make an impact on you as a person.  It could be someone who will take the time to notice that you may be upset and they will take the time to speak to you to be sure you’re okay. Or, it could be someone who teaches you another perspective to a common situation. Both things help you grow as a person. A leader should always strive to help others grow in some way.

CA:     How has your background influenced your leadership style?
JT: I take pride in my heritage and culture.  I grew up in a traditional Hispanic family.  I try and use my values to understand how other families feel when they see an officer at their door.  At the same time, I try to set them at ease by facilitating the situation and speaking to them in the language that will make them most comfortable (if I can).  I’m always willing to share any knowledge that I gain, even if it was acquired by making a mistake.  Yes, I make mistakes and I am not afraid to say it.  I think that helps me with my style because I am not afraid to show that I have flaws like every other person.

CA:     Have you had mentors or guides that you have looked up to as you have come into your current role or industry? How have they impacted your outlook on leadership?
JT: My mother has been the one person I look up to the most.  When a situation became rough, she never stopped working hard and always thought about my sisters and I before thinking about herself.  Her dedication and hard work showed me that anything is possible and achievable if you try hard.  The example you set will follow you.  The example she gave me, showed me that I need to work hard each day and appreciate someone’s success especially if they have worked very hard for it.

CA:     What legacy would you like to create for other Latinas who may look to follow in your footsteps or use your leadership as an example for their own careers?
JT: I want all Latinas to know that you can do anything that you truly want to do.  I had plenty of people who told me that I would not succeed because I was not a man and because I was a minority.  I worked hard each day and if I failed an exam or course, I tried again until I passed.  Failing was not an option and quitting was not something that was on my mind.  As a Latina, I see myself as a fighter and I will fight until the end to meet my personal goals.

CA:  How does partnering with Canal Alliance to advance our mission of empowering the Latino immigrant community fit into the legacy that you want to leave in your field?
JT: Partnering with Canal Alliance helps with my mission because they are a voice for the community who may be afraid to speak to me on a regular basis.  I can help show that I am here to help and not to be anything but that.  {Canal Alliance} helps show that by working together, our voices can be heard louder and stronger. 

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