Just what is a Super Hero? The Urban Dictionary defines that term in the following manner: “A being with extraordinary physical or mental powers, far beyond the range of normal human ability, who uses those powers to protect the innocent and for the general good.”
While she is attired in a crisp, immaculate uniform of a Norwich Police Officer, Sergeant Jen Frank may not add a flowing cape around her neck, but her mission to serve the residents of Norwich elevates her status reserved for Super Heroes. When Jen applied for an open position with the Norwich Police Department, she came complete with an impressive résumé of accomplishments in her chosen profession and her personal life.
For starters, Jen was named The New England Regional Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2018. That region includes being tabbed as the Top Law Enforcement Officer in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. In addition, she was honored in 2017 as the Vermont Police Officer of the Year. Those awards carried a very special meaning.
“I was told that I was the very first woman in law enforcement to receive those awards and that makes it very special to me. I was very honored,” Jen stated.
Jen’s résumé also includes the following: Former detective/school resource officer in nearby Windsor for a three-year stint. She had also served as a special investigator for the Plymouth Police Department. Before her entry into law enforcement, Jen began her career as a high school social studies teacher.
“Having taught school helped me develop a passion for working with young people and that was a factor in my becoming a school resource officer. While doing that, I also used a social media resource to further develop positive interaction with the community and young people. That is very important.”
Jen has developed a Facebook page – with over 700 followers – that highlights her compassion, caring, and ability to emphasize the positive aspects of police work. She updates her daily contact with the community with photos and reports which range from youth activities to reporting road conditions.
“I don’t think most people realize that 90% of our police work involves dealing with the personal interest and contact with all members of our community. That is a critical aspect of what we do. Always accent the positive!”
Jen has been on the Norwich Police force for about seven months and she has quickly adapted to her new environment. Asked how the new location has impacted her brought a wide smile.
“Yes, I have only been here about seven months and I can’t believe the reception by this community. I have been welcomed with open arms here and it already feels like home! The transition from Windsor has been an easy one and I am very fortunate to have Chief Doug Robinson at the helm. Everything has come together for me. There is an old saying that states ‘if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life.’ I believe that!”
Jen also is a well-conditioned athlete and is dedicated to staying in top physical shape. “I am into anything physical,” she explained. “I love running, hiking, and working out. I am also a member of an ice hockey team and love to skate. I believe your physical condition is a key element in law enforcement.”
Norwich residents should take time to meet Jen while she is out and about. They may discover that the police motto of Serve and Protect may have to add the word ‘inspire’ as well.