Powerful, gutsy women in law enforcement and the military to be honored

Compiled by Tessa Sari
Northwest Asian Weekly

Who said women can’t be powerful and beautiful at the same time?

This month, Northwest Asian Weekly is honoring 12 women of power in law enforcement and the military at its tri-annual Women of Color Empowered luncheon.

On Friday, May 13, at New Hong Kong Restaurant, these 12 individuals will be distinguished for their career achievements and contributions to the community.

Carmen Best
Community Outreach Lieutenant for the Seattle Police Department

Best has been with the Seattle Police Department since 1992. She has assumed a vast number of positions and assignments in her 19 years with the police department. She is currently the community outreach lieutenant.  Best is responsible for overseeing personnel assigned to community outreach, false alarm detail, youth outreach, school emphasis, media response, the citizen’s police academy, and demographic advisory councils. Prior to being hired by the Seattle Police Department, she worked as a senior accounts processor for one of the largest insurance companies in the United States.

She also served as a soldier in the United States Army.

Denise “Cookie” Bouldin
Detective for the Seattle Police Department

Bouldin is affectionately known throughout Seattle as Officer Cookie or Detective Cookie. She is a veteran of the Seattle Police Department. She is currently assigned to the School Emphasis Team and, in addition, serves as a community liaison officer. Bouldin works closely with the youth and citizens of Seattle, especially in the Rainier Valley and Central District area. A few years ago, she proposed a basketball game between the youth in the community and the Seattle police officers.

Later, the teens requested to change the basketball game to a chess match. Bouldin then held a chess tournament for these youngsters. The tournament was the beginning of Detective Cookie’s Urban Youth Chess Club.

Erika S. Hunter
Program Analyst for Drug Enforcement Administration’s Seattle Field Division

Hunter’s career took off when she became the platoon leader of Bravo Company, 2nd Platoon, 29th Signal Battalion, at Fort Lewis in 2000. At age 22, she found herself in charge of 56 soldiers and more than $26 million worth of equipment. In January 2004, she was deployed to Baghdad. Due to her military leadership experience, she was selected to lead a convoy of 29 troops from Kuwait to Iraq, which involved a three-day trip across a combat zone. She was given an honorable discharge from active duty. Her awards include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and tGlobal War on Terrorism Medal.

Monica A. Hunter-Alexander
Detective Sergeant in the Office of Professional Standards/Internal Affairs of the Washington State Patrol

Hunter-Alexander was the first Black female to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Washington State Patrol (WSP).

She was also the first WSP trooper/sergeant to be voted by viewers of the television show “Evening Magazine” as the best looking police officer in Western Washington. During her tenure with the WSP, Hunter-Alexander has received many honors and awards, including the Educational Excellence Award from the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission. In 2003, she was inducted into the Tacoma African American History Museum for her service to the community and her work with the WSP.

Linda E. Hill
Native American Liaison for the Seattle Police Department

Hill has been an employee of the City of Seattle for nearly 30 years. She began her career in the 1980s as a clerk for the Seattle Municipal Court and the magistrates offices before joining the Seattle Police Department in October 1986. Hill is a member of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association. She works mostly with Native American youth programs, such as the Highline Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee, Iwasil Youth Program, Clear Sky Youth Program, Duwamish Tribal Services “Singing Feet” dance group, and Local Indian Child Welfare Act Committee.

Lisaye Ishikawa
Captain at the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention

As a captain, Ishikawa works with command staff and administration as a part of the management team to serve in a leadership capacity as a jail shift commander. Ishikawa earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in political science. She began her career at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Seattle. She then accepted a job with the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention in 1994 as a corrections officer. Ishikawa also joined Seattle First Hill Lion’s Club and became the club’s president in 2009.

Janice Mano Lehman
Colonel of Madigan Army Medical Center

Lehmen currently works at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma. Lehman is a resident graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. She has worked in various positions at Madigan, including hospital bed manager, chief of ambulatory care nursing, and chief of clinical nursing services. Her military education includes the Combined Arms Staff Services School, Medical Effects of Nuclear Weapons Course, and U.S Army Airborne School. Her awards and recognitions include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Parachutist Badge.

Annette Louie
Captain at the King County Sheriff’s Office

Louie has been at the King County Sheriff’s Office for 31 years. She is currently serving as the assistant police chief for the City of SeaTac. Louie started her career working patrol in Precinct 4, which encompassed SeaTac and Burien before they incorporated. She has had a variety of assignments and promotions during her tenure. She worked as a patrol officer, recruiter, Advanced Training Unit instructor, Special Assault Unit detective, patrol sergeant in Maple Valley (Precinct 3), Special Assault Unit sergeant, Internal Investigations Unit sergeant, Precinct 4 Operations & Administrative captain, and Internal Investigations Unit commander.

Taylene S. Watson
Director of Social Work at Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System

At Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS), Watson oversees more than 170 social workers. She has served as the director since 1999. She has always been passionate about serving the needs of veterans and their families.

She has led several initiatives to honor the special needs of soldiers who are transitioning from military to veteran status.

In 2006, Watson received one of the highest honors in her field when she was recognized as the National VA Social Worker of the Year for her dedicated demonstration of stellar leadership and mentorship over the years.

Traci Williams
Military Liason for Seahawks Security

After basic training and advanced individual training, Master Sergeant Williams was sent for four years to Germany. After 9/11, she was deployed to Kosovo as a chaplain’s assistant. Missing her favorite football team, the Seattle Seahawks, she helped to start a military fan club to reach out to those military members deployed and living abroad.  In 2006, she was deployed to Afghanistan in charge of dispersing donations from the United States.  In 2009, she was deployed to Iraq, working with Iraqi linguists. She is currently assigned to the 364th MSE and still assists the Seattle Seahawks as their military liaison.

Colleen Wilson
Chief of the Port of Seattle Police Department

Wilson became the chief of the Port of Seattle Police Department in August 2007. Her 35-year law enforcement career also includes nine years as the chief of the Monroe Police Department. Her stint there began in 1993. She was the first female police chief in Washington state. Wilson is a recognized trainer and considered a law enforcement expert in interpersonal violence. She has helped make legislative and policy changes for Washington state, most recently in the areas of ethical response by police officers.

Hisami Yoshida
Correctional Program Manager at Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Yoshida works in a 2,000-bed male facility in Aberdeen. She has been working for the Department of Corrections since 1989. Yoshida has developed many programs, such as the Residential Parenting Program, which allows some female offenders to keep their children while they are incarcerated. She also developed the Youthful Offender Program, a program that provides age appropriate responses to offenders under the age of 18. Yoshida has played an important role in the department’s statewide Diversity Committee and cofounded the National Association of Women in Criminal Justice.

Master of Ceremonies:

Parella Lewis
Washington’s Most Wanted Correspondent for Q13 FOX News

Before getting into television, Lewis spent time working as a reserve officer for the Lafayette Police Department in Lafayette, La. She graduated from the police academy in 1999, where she underwent rigorous physical training, more than 40 hours of advanced firearms training, defensive tactics training, and specialized conditioning in several other fields.

During her time in law enforcement, she also worked undercover. She was one of the few women who volunteered for specialized assignments and helped catch several criminals.

Lewis can also be seen on Friday and Saturday nights doing the weather for Q13 Fox news at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. She has worked in the top severe weather markets across the United States and brings her unique knowledge and experience to the Pacific Northwest. ♦

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/93793 or call 206-223-0623.

Tessa Sari can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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2 Responses to “Powerful, gutsy women in law enforcement and the military to be honored”

  1. steve-o says:

    Oh no, Capt Lewis is wounded, someone call the whaaaambulance

  2. Capt Lewis says:

    After serving 30 yrs in law enforcement for State,Federal and local agencies, I’ll always take a male over a female for back up.


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