Women’s History Month: Detective Heather Long

This year, for Women’s History Month, we’re honoring our staff members and female MDT Partners who are truly making a difference in their field.

Please meet Detective Heather Long!

 

  • # of Years in field

    • Pottstown PD – 3.5 years patrol, 11 years juvenile detective

    • Montgomery County Detective Bureau – 1 year homicide division

 

  • This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is “Providing healing and Promoting Hope.” How do you provide healing and/or promote hope in your line of work?

    • Previously as a sex crimes/child abuse detective, I believe I gave my victims hope and healing through taking back the power from the offender. By coming forward, being believed and having a successful prosecution, it allowed them to have the power in the situation and hope moving forward that they would be safe.

  • What sparked your interest in the field? What led you to pursue a career in law enforcement?

    • This is a question I feel is asked often of police officers and detectives. I am not sure my path was that clear cut. I wanted to be a doctor, but did not want to attend school and take on that much student loan debt, so I enrolled as a criminal justice major in college. I learned quickly that I did not want to be a probation officer or work in the prison system, so the only thing I felt left was to be a police officer. I completed an internship with the Pottstown Police Department my senior year of college and I knew that is what I wanted to do with my career. I enjoyed Pottstown so much that I hoped I would be lucky enough to get hired with their department.

  • Is there another female in this field who inspired you or been a mentor to you?

    • There are so many great female role models throughout Montgomery County in the law enforcement community. It never mattered what department you were from the support of fellow female police officers to empower and push other female officers to get promoted or take on specialty positions is amazing throughout the county. If I had to pick, I would pick Detective Kathy Hart (Retired) from Montgomery County Detective Bureau. Kathy and I met through the MDT at Mission Kids early on in my detective career. I had no training when I started as the juvenile detective and she was always willing to assist in any way possible. She encouraged me to apply at Montgomery County Detective Bureau throughout her career there and eventually I applied and was lucky enough to be hired.

  • If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

    • Learn to say no. The job is stressful enough without putting undo stress on yourself by taking on more than you can handle.

  • What advice would you have for another female considering a career in law enforcement?

    • Don’t see yourself as a female police officer, see yourself as a police officer. Just because the physical standards to get hired are different for men and women, does not mean you shouldn’t work hard to pass at the male standards. You will be doing the same job, on the same streets and you should not be okay with difference in physical standards. If you are going to do the same job, you should want to be able to do things at the same level and that will help earn you respect amongst your male counterparts.

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