Patrolman and Mother: Kim Findley finds her two full-time jobs similar in more ways than one
By Amanda Lowrance
In many ways Kim Findley’s two full-time jobs as a patrolman for the Selmer Police Department and a mother seem like polar opposites, but, in fact, her tasks at home and work are very similar.
Findley has over two years of experience with the McNairy County Sheriff’s Department and more than two years spent in the military.
She married Shane Findley from Corinth, Miss. and has two children; a boy and a girl. Cristian will be nine and Anna Lyse will be two years old next month.
Her jobs and tasks at home and at work are similar in many ways. Kim must play a full-time role model and ethical counselor.
“Seeing children treated wrong is probably the worst part of the job,” said Findley. “Calls where children are being neglected or mistreated, having to go in as a liaison between the Department of Children’s Services and family members, and to be a witness to what they do.”
The job is not only hard for Findley but for her family as well.
“The most dangerous aspects are traffic stops, and we do a lot of traffic stops. I don’t really worry about it, but my kids and family do.”
“When I work a shift and my son sees me,” said Findley, as she began to cry, “he always gives me a real big hug and says, ‘Mom be careful.’”
Danger is not really a concern for Kim even though she is a female who stands at 5’3 inches tall.
“I don’t even think about it. I really should, but I don’t. You can’t think about it all the time, or you wouldn’t be able to do your job.”
According to Findley, being an officer is very rewarding and has many perks.
“I really like the job,” said Findley, “I have a job that my kids can look up to, something that they can be proud of. They see me in uniform and they know I’m doing something honorable.”
The dangerous aspect balances out with having and receiving respect.
“Cristian is so proud of what I do,” said Findley. “You have your dangers and risks, but I know I am doing something that does make a difference no matter how small and that my son can be proud of me.”
Seeing the dangers and responding to certain situations gives Kim the chance to explain to her children how decisions can affect your behavior and your future and how to forgive someone for their mistakes.
“The job has made me a little tougher on my kids than what I would have been had I not been a police officer,” said Findley. “It makes me try even harder as a parent, because I want them to make the right decisions and not go through the things that I see people on the streets go through.”
Kim has a method of talking to people on a personal level and forgiving and forgetting, while trying to serve and protect. This same method is used at home.
“Sometimes when I am transporting someone to jail I ask them, what were you thinking?” said Findley.
Law enforcement officers have the chance to make an impact in others’ lives. The key is finding the right moment and the right way approach it.”
“Back when I worked for the county I got a call on an unruly child and her father was trying to do the best he could to raise her right,” said Findley. “He was a single father and she was maybe 16 at the time. I sat down and told her how I felt about the choices she was making and that if she continued to make those choices where it would lead her. Then, I tried to talk to them both and help them communicate a little better.”
Growing and maturing in law enforcement has made Kim realize that the job is not all about the spontaneous, thrill-seeking opportunities.
“Almost two years went by,” said Findley, “and the father flagged me down in town and said, ‘I just want you know the talk you had with my daughter kept her from dropping out of high school. She had a baby, graduated high school, and is doing everything right.”
Her view on how important she was to the community changed. She began to see things in a whole new light.
“I wondered if my job was pointless up until then,” said Findley.
“I knew I was in law enforcement for a reason. Now, I do my job to make a difference. I want to talk to people. I want to help them if they are in a situation that they shouldn’t be in.”
Many people think that being a cop is harder for females, and those females suffer from being in law enforcement because of it.
“People walk up to me and say ‘Is it hard to be a girl cop?’ A guy came up to me yesterday and said, ‘You’re the first I’ve seen,’ and I said ‘What?’ and he said ‘woman cop.’ I came back and said it takes one to get the job done.”
Findley believes one of the hardest things to do is turning off the switch from being an officer.
“The hardest thing about being an officer and a role model would be when people come up to talk to me as an officer rather than as a mother or a friend,” said Findley.
“They come up to talk to me about police related things. I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s just sometimes hard to turn off the work when you’re with family because when you go somewhere you are seen as an officer.”
Sometimes people don’t realize the error in their ways and need some form of punishment to learn a lesson.
“The thing that I talk to people most about is that we all have things to conquer and things to overcome,” said Findley. “For some, it’s family problems, and for some it’s addictions to alcohol or drugs, but we all have obstacles to overcome. I have overcome a lot of obstacles and if I can do it, they can do it.”