Bethel hires its first woman police officer

Posted: Monday, July 10, 2000

BETHEL - Jessi Nicholson is making history in Bethel.

The 35-year-old Nicholson is the first full-time woman police officer hired by the city. She recently graduated from the police academy in Sitka and is now on the streets working with a training officer.

Nicholson drove to Alaska from northern California when she was 18 to take a cannery job. She has worked as a nursing assistant and a commercial fisherman, but said she wanted a job that would challenge her both physically and mentally every day.

Nicholson said she is very comfortable with her co-workers and everyone has treated her with great respect and has been very friendly and helpful since her arrival.

``I know women have something to offer law enforcement, just as men do'' she said. ``But when it comes to me enforcing the law, I hope it is genderless.''

Bob Petitt, Bethel police chief, said the the city encourages women and minorities to apply to the department. Nicholson was hired because she was a strong applicant, he said.

``We feel fortunate that she chose Bethel as the start of her career,'' Petitt said. ``And we believe her being here will add another dimension to the police department.''

Her arrival will alleviate the sometimes troublesome task of finding a woman available to conduct searches of women in custody, or other issues more appropriate for a woman officer to handle than a man.

Until Nicholson's arrival, the department used civilian female dispatchers or jail guards for searches of female suspects.

Page not found | Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper

Page not found

We're sorry, but the page you were seeking does not exist. It may have been moved or expired.  Perhaps our search engine can help. 



  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback