Chief Gina Hawkins
The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) hosted its national meeting on August 25 virtually. And although this year’s conference was different from the past years due to recent events, we still take time to recognize our law enforcement leaders that continue to go above and beyond. Annually, a woman law enforcement professional is recognized for her contributions throughout her career and is presented with the Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year award (WoLEEY) – this year through unprecedented times, another female leader shines through. This year’s female leader has risen to the challenge to serve and protect her community, all while leading the way to inspire and mentor women within the profession.
This year marks NAWLEE’s 25th anniversary and Motorola Solutions has been honored to be the founding sponsor of NAWLEE and the WoLEEY award. We are proud to congratulate 2020 recipient Chief Gina Hawkins of the Fayetteville Police Department, North Carolina.
At the virtual conference we celebrated Chief Hawkins’ accomplishments, and in the coming months will be celebrating in the Chief’s hometown. What made Chief Hawkins the recipient of this year’s award was broken down into several categories: Leading Change, Leading People, Driving Results, Business Acumen, and Building Coalition. Ultimately, she has led the way through her actions and driving change.
Chief Hawkins established a new unit to address domestic violence and the increase in that crime category. She developed a Community Empowerment Response Team for which officers carry out duties, which include working with the community to develop trust. Their role is vital to the success of maintaining a relationship with the community that helps bridge that gap. In addition, there is a continuous effort to hold community meetings, quarterly faith forums, support the Police Activities League, host Ceasefire Movie nights and maintain intern programs.
Chief Hawkins demonstrates success in building and maintaining a Law Enforcement/Police work force that is diverse, well trained, highly motivated, and productive. She understands the importance of empowering her employees in order to develop team building partnerships. She works to build relationships and coach the leadership of the department to support problem solving throughout the city.
She also continuously evaluates the training of the department to ensure employees are developing and there is a balance for all. And she communicates to ensure others are provided with the necessary tools to be successful with the goals of the department through respectful communications and expects it from all levels in the organization.
Chief Hawkins understands that her staff have an extremely demanding, stressful job and saw the need for a wellness program. In an effort to serve the community better, Chief Hawkins developed a wellness room at the department that allows staff to take time to reflect, relax and find inner peace to carry on with their duties. She believes in wellness of the mind and body and encourages employees to take advantage of wellness programs that are offered.
She’s managed the organization’s human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner that instilled the utmost public trust and advanced the organization’s mission. Chief Hawkins believes in transparency and has allowed the opportunity for the Community Affairs Unit to establish platforms to use in her efforts. Communication is key to the success in being transparent and building trust in the community. Chief Hawkins takes pride in the City’s Core Values and the mission of the Police Department. She continues to train to ensure the department exceeds expectations and standards. Chief Hawkins takes initiative and responsibility for moving the City toward established goals and objectives.
Building Coalition and Communication
Chief Hawkins understands leadership involves developing relationships with not only law enforcement peers but many leaders throughout the community. Chief Hawkins has regular meetings with the District Attorney and the judiciary staff of the county. She also maintains relationships with leaders throughout the community in order to empower problem solving solutions and safety initiatives. The department’s Crime Information Center is always available to provide data for analytical resolutions.
Chief Hawkins leads the way for women in law enforcement, inspiring future generations to lead and uplift others in the profession. Please join me in congratulating Chief Gina V. Hawkins, 2020 Women Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award Recipient. It is women like Chief Hawkins that are an inspiration to future law enforcement professionals to come.