Women in law enforcement: Part 2

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is the first woman to be director of the Michigan State Police.

â??I'm in Lapeer.â??

Michigan State Police Trooper Amy Hoffmeister checks into service.

For her, another day behind the wheel of what the Michigan State Police affectionately refer to as a "Blue Goose."

â??I went into college, not knowing what I wanted to do and then I had a criminology class and I thought maybe that would be for me,â?? Trooper. Hoffmeister said.

She is one of hundreds of area women who have taken the oath to Protect and Serve in a profession that, not too long ago, was totally male dominated.

â??I think of myself as just like any other man or woman police officer. I don't think of myself as different. And I don't feel I get treated different,â?? Tpr. Hoffmeister said. â??It's not a macho man contest. All of a sudden I am just a police officer.â??

But sheâ??s more than just a police officer. Like many of her peers, Amy Hoffmeister is a parent and a wife, married to Eric, also a state trooper assigned to the Lapeer Post.

â??Yes, we talk shop. It's actually very helpful to go home and, um, talk about your day and have your husband.â??

The husband-wife trooper household is not as uncommon as some might think. Kriste Kibbey Etue, like Amy Hoffmeister, is a state trooper and married to a now-retired member of the state police. She recalls the days when some still considered law enforcement a "Man's Man's World."

â??It was challenging. But let me say, you know? I don't really view myself as a female trooper,â?? Kibbey Etue said. â??Because in recruit school, they make it very, very obvious, that's you're going to be a trooper, these are the skills you must possess.â?? Skills that she also may have acquired, at a very young age, from outside the training academy - a family member who ironically, at the time, had a very different view of women in law enforcement.

Kibbey Etue said, â??My dad, when I would say â??You know, I think I want to be a trooper,â?? He would say, â??Oh, no, no, no. Women can't be in the state police. It's not a role for women.â??â??

But his reasoning wasn't solely, if at all, based on gender bias. Detective Lieutenant Robert Kibbey was also a father.

â??I think my dad, you can see, having a daughter, always afraid of what I would do if she follows in my footsteps, knowing it's a dangerous occupation and then she gets hurt,â?? Kibbey Etue said.

Not only did Kriste Kibbey Etue, like her dad, rise through the ranks of the Michigan State Police, last year she accomplished what no other woman has ever done in the 95-year history of the agency.

â??What an honor to be the first female director,â?? she said.

Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue, wife, mother, grandmother and daughter.

â??So, I think, my dad was a great influence. So has been my mother. So, today, I thank them both or I wouldn't be sitting here today,â?? Kibbey Etue said.