San Diego Police Foundation to Honor Women in Blue

Law enforcement K9 unit. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Three women in San Diego will be honored this month for their dedication to law enforcement.

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The San Diego Police Foundation will host its annual Women in Blue event Wednesday where three women will be recognized: Tammy Clendenen, a police detective, Beverly Harris, senior property evidence supervisor, and Susan de la Peña, a police officer.

The women were chosen because they are trailblazers in nontraditional law enforcement careers, according to organizers.

‘The coolest job’

Tammy Clendenen

Tammy Clendenen said she chose to join the San Diego Police Department because of the challenges it would bring forth.

“It’s the only job that challenges you physically, requires you to use your mind, and conditions you to be social – AKA a good communicator,” Clendenen said. “It’s a delicate balance that never gets old.”

The police detective said she’s found inspiration by those who fight for the right causes.

“I’m inspired by people who take up an unpopular cause because it’s the right thing to do, knowing they’re going to face scrutiny, backlash and may not be liked,” Clendenen said. “That’s powerful and motivating.”

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‘Work hard and love what you do’

Beverly Harris

Having worked in the court system for three decades, Beverly Harris made a smooth transition into the San Diego Police Department’s administration.

Harris, who said she wanted to work in the field of justice since junior high, said she used her skills and knowledge to make the department more efficient.

“When I toured the Property Room, I saw a need for a more efficient, timely disposition process of unnecessary evidence,” said the evidence supervisor. ” That was my first focus when starting with the Department.”

Harris, who said she found inspiration from Court Administrator Fred Lear, said she’s never been afraid of hard work.

“I hope that my children have learned from me that if you work hard and love what
you do, you will be successful in whatever you attempt,” Harris said.

‘I was determined to succeed’

Susan de la Pena

Susan de la Pena said she gave herself the goal of becoming a police officer by her 40th birthday. And, she did just that, despite the obstacles she faced.

“Being only 5’2”, petite, female and 39 years old I did not think it was possible for me to achieve this goal,” Pena said. ” I worked with Captain Stephanie Rose at Traffic Division and she was a big inspiration for me. With her encouragement and my mom’s determination, I finally made the decision to do what I always wanted to do, become a Woman in Blue.”

Pena has now been an officer for more than 13 years. She said she found inspiration from her mom.

“My mom was very independent and full of spunk,” Pena said. “I admired that she did whatever she set her mind to do.”

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