Quincy PD’s first female sergeant is a familiar face
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Quincy Police Department’s Julie Fuller took the step from being a patrol officer and detective to sergeant. Her colleagues gave her a playful initiation by wrapping the sergeant’s new office in shiny tinfoil, the chair and all.
She is the first female in the Quincy Police Department to hold the position.
“I don’t really look at it that way, from the female perspective. I’m just doing the job,” Sgt. Fuller pointed out. “There was an amusing incident once, though, when I stopped someone to give them a ticket for a traffic violation and they were actually excited that I was a ‘lady’ officer.”
What is the job of a sergeant? It’s one of leadership, mentorship and friendship. A sergeant is the team leader, the one who has been there and done that. He or she is also the shoulder to cry on.
Fuller’s journey with the Quincy PD began in 2010 as a patrol officer. Two years later she switched to the gang task force, where she stayed until 2015.
“I worked on the west side of the mountains for some time – they have a lot of gang issues there,” Fuller explained about her background.
From the gang-related work she went on to be the School Resource Officer in Quincy.
Fuller is also an educator: She taught in the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program.
After three years as an SRO officer, Fuller applied her accumulated skills to being both a patrol officer and a detective at the same time. Her focus was major crimes.
“What stands out on my mind from those cases are the sexual assault and child abuse incidents,” Fuller said. “It takes several organizations and a lot of coordinating to handle such complicated issues.”
Fuller is also an experienced Field Training Officer, emphasizing encouragement to new officers. She has trained eight to 10 officers, according to her estimate.
Now, in her new position as a sergeant, she continues to uphold the encouraging aspect of her work.
“As a sergeant, I’m a team leader. They come first, not me.”
In patrol work, it tends to be the opposite: The officer is alone, having to make on-the-spot decisions based on this or her own discretion.
Fuller’s team will officially start working on Jan. 14, 2019. The other sergeants in the department are Paul Snyder, Jorge Trujillo and Chris Lafferty.
“The PD added a fourth sergeant because we are changing to 12-hour shifts,” Fuller explained. “There are going to be four teams, each led by a sergeant. I will have three people under my supervision, one fresh from the academy.”
She seems to enjoy being a teacher and a leader, sharing her knowledge with others.
“The best part of police work is being able to help,” she commented.
Sometimes the willingness to help puts officers at risk, as Fuller has experienced.
“I went to respond to a welfare call – someone was going to commit suicide. I was the first one there and entered the house. I gave the surroundings a quick glance and then began to talk to the person who was feeling suicidal. He was holding his hands behind his head and I asked him to expose them to me. Only then, as he lowered his arms, I saw the guns lined up behind him.”
Other officers arrived at the scene and the situation was resolved without injury. It could have gone very differently.
Fuller’s specialty is community outreach. One of the biggest events of the year for the PD is the National Night Out, but there are many others which the law enforcement personnel like to participate in. Fuller is looking forward to being active in many of Quincy’s activities.
“Quincy is a wonderful community. They support the police department. And the department itself is family-oriented,” she said.
In Fuller, Quincy seems to have a capable, caring person. But, there is that look in her eyes, a steady gaze that causes you to pay attention. You can tell she’s been there and done that. And then some.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register