A Look Behind the Badge With Reedley Police Officer Ashleigh Lopez

Apr 20, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Public Protectors, Reedley News

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Many years ago when I was writing for the Reedley Exponent I did a series of articles getting to know the officers of the Reedley Police Department. I decided it was time to do a version of that here at KRL as we chat with two of Reedley’s female officers. In March, we chatted with Officer Marisela Delgado from Fresno, and this month we are chatting with Officer Ashleigh Lopez from Dinuba.

KRL: When did you decide you wanted to become a police officer and why?

Officer Lopez: I decided to become a police officer at the age of ten. At the time I was living in Orange Cove where I would witness a lot of crime occurring on a day-to-day basis and found myself wanting to help the city become a better place.

Officer Ashleigh Lopez

KRL: Did you have another occupation first, or was this always your goal occupation-wise?

Officer Lopez: I did not have another occupation, becoming a cop was always the occupation I had in mind.

KRL: What kind of training did you have to go through? Did you get a degree in criminology as well?

Officer Lopez: I have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Cal State LA and attended a police academy for several months.

KRL: Is this your first job as a police officer or have you worked at other police departments?

Officer Lopez: I started off at another department as a police cadet for about a year then came to Reedley as a police officer.

KRL: How long have you been with Reedley PD and why did you want to work here?

Officer Lopez: I have been with The Reedley Police Department for approximately six months and the reason I wanted to work here was because of an interaction I had with an officer when I was about 10-12 years old. At that moment I knew that becoming a police officer was what I wanted to do.

KRL: What have you liked the most about your job so far and about working in Reedley?

Officer Lopez: Being able to try and make a difference in some people’s lives.

KRL: What has been the hardest?

Officer Lopez: I never spent much time in Reedley prior to working here so something that has been the hardest thing for me would be adapting to the streets and some locations.

KRL: Reedley’s streets can be a challenge. Do you have a special story to share about something that has really meant a lot to you on the job—something that perhaps reminds you of why you wanted to be a police officer?

Officer Lopez: I conducted a vehicle stop a few weeks ago and although I felt a citation should have been issued for the violation, the driver and passenger (12-year-old Juvenile) advised me they were having a rough day due to them being on their way to put down a horse. I decided the driver should be advised of the violation and sent him on his way.

KRL: Do you find that women still face extra challenges and discrimination being a police officer, or is that mostly a thing of the past? (not necessarily here with the Reedley PD but in general—from other officers and the public)

Officer Lopez: Yes, I do find that female officers still face challenges for becoming police officers. I feel many departments and some members of the public feel that women have to be held to a higher standard in certain things due to this being known as a male-dominated job.

KRL: What is a typical day on the job like?

Officer Lopez: A typical day on the job is patrolling the city, conducting vehicle stops for vehicle code violations, and contacting members of the public for calls for service or just to show your presence in neighborhoods.

KRL: What are your hopes and goals for the future?

Officer Lopez: A goal for the future would be going back to school to further my education so that I can grow in the law enforcement industry.

KRL: What do you like to do for fun?

Officer Lopez: I love spending time with my family and enjoy finding new places to hike.

KRL: Do you have a family and if so, does that present any extra challenges to being in this occupation?

Officer Lopez: If by family you mean do I have kids, then no! The only family I have are nieces and nephews. And being that there are a lot in my family, kids are not in my plans at the moment. I do feel it presents extra challenges due to having to miss birthdays, award ceremonies, and special events or holidays.

KRL: Anything else you would like to add?

Officer Lopez: At this moment, no, I am still fairly new to this potion and try to just take it day by day.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Officer Lopez!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s latest mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!<


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