Field Training Officer Jackie Bohn was born in Germany, and grew up on the east side of Salinas. "I was one of those kids who pushed the envelope -- there wasn't room on the girls' team, so I was one of the first girls who played on a boys' baseball team in the seventies.
"I think that was one of the things that led me to push the envelope my whole career. When I was growing up I was interested in sports and writing -- I kind of wanted to be a journalist. I didn't grow up wanting to be a police officer, but I took a class at Hartnell and I realized I needed to make money and I wanted a career. I saw an ad for a police officer, went through all the steps, and then went to the academy, and as I went through the different scenarios, I realized that this was something I could get really into."
What's special about Salinas?
"Out of all the other agencies around, we are the biggest city, and obviously we have a lot of different types of things happen in the city. There's a lot of potential for getting into different units, and even through we're a big department, we still have a small town feel. Everyone knows you by name, you're not a number. We all know each other... it's very fulfilling."
What does she like to do outside of work?
"I like to spend time with my family -- it's very important to me. I like to travel with my kids, go to the movies, play sports. We have lives outside of being a police officer, and you have to find a balance."
What does she like most about her job?
"For one thing, I love the excitement, but also, I really care about people. In this type of job, you can really get into helping people. I know it sounds corny, but you can. It really feels good when you can help somebody, and make a change and a difference in their life."
"Sometimes I can't believe I get paid for what I do. When I go to work I enjoy it, it's not a chore for me -- and every day is different."
What would she say to someone who is considering a career with the Salinas Police Department?
"This is a career where you can go all the way. I started when I was 21, and here I am. Some people may feel scared because they don't have enough education.
"When I started here, I only had a high school diploma -- you can have a high school diploma or GED. Some people might be intimidated that they're going to be dealing with such a big city, but in the program, we start people off slowly and ease them into working different types of cases. Just like any type of job, that's the way it is with us -- we're here to help them, we want them to succeed."
And about being a female officer:
"Being a female officer... as you can see, we have a female Chief here, and we see female Sergeants, female commanders, female deputy chiefs [all around]. I've been in several different units, narcotics, gangs, [I've been a] CSI, FTO, a detective. You're only limited by yourself. I have a great career, I make good money, I have great benefits, great retirement -- I can retire in my 50s. Plus, I can look back, and know that I made a difference in at least one or two people's lives that I've encountered -- in what other job can you say that?"