In such uncertain times, we’re all looking for answers – or even clarity on how to do our part in society right now. And while for some of us our hustling lives have taken a pause, others that are on the frontline of battling the global pandemic due to COVID-19 are doubling down, exhibiting leadership and courage that we can all learn from – and be thankful for. Over the next several weeks we’ll take a look at our frontline leaders, from our community servants to service workers to healthcare professionals and more because we know People Make the City – even more so in a time like this.
If you’d like to nominate one of Indy’s 20-and 30-something’s story of courage please email Hannah Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We’re here for you, let us share your story.
As we navigate the new way of living through a global pandemic we wanted to bring you a story of inspiration and dedication. We recently sat down with Officer Desiree Biggers, a Police Officer, Mom, Wife, Public Servant, Community Leader, and now teacher – to name a few of her titles. Below she tells us more about growing up in Indy, becoming a Field Training Operator and Officer in Indianapolis’ East District with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and what fills her “empty glass”.
We think you’ll be inspired by Officer Biggers’ passion for service – keep reading!
As an Indy native, you’ve felt passion for community and law enforcement work since you were in high school (our local Pike High School, that is). However, you said you studied Communications & Political Science at Indiana State, so what was the moment that compelled you to a career in law enforcement?
I have always liked law – it’s black and white, wrong or right. Either it is or isn’t. Anytime wanted to prove a point – I would look things up to Encyclopedia Britannica. After taking a criminology course at Indiana State, all signs pointed me in the direction of law enforcement. Following the criminology course, I took a career & passions assessment- law enforcement was my top result. I already knew what I wanted to do, even though some opposed it. There wasn’t anything else I wanted to do.
We all have something or someone keeping us moving forward – What’s your pride and joy?
My 15-year-old son, Dominic. He’s a movie connoisseur and loves a trip to Top Golf. Since he’s been e-learning, I’ve now gained the title of teacher as well. During social distancing, I am on patrol on our city’s streets and at home. If work assignments aren’t complete – I go straight to my Wi-Fi controls and cut off his devices. It’s for his own good. During social distancing.
We got word that there’s a locally managed restaurant in your district that does alot for our frontline workers – it also happens to be your favorite go-to restaurant. Which one is it and what are some of your other favorite spots to grab a bite around the city?
Easy. Texas Roadhouse at 16th and Shadeland, before the stay-at-home order was issued, you could find me there once a week. They know my order when I walk in the door. Loco Mexican Restaurant and Cantina on 22nd and Delaware is another favorite restaurant of mine.
We all know things don’t feel normal for anyone right now so we want to hear more about your experience on the job. During the pandemic, what has the community been like while patrolling?
In this city, we take care of each other. You see it everywhere. People buying other people’s groceries. Makeshift food pantries. Handwritten signs. Making sure the city is OK. It helps us. And we are grateful for you. When we can help each other without wanting to be noticed – all of us with what we do, we don’t want you to notice us, it’s what we love to do. It’s the little things.”
What have been some rewarding moments in your career so far and why is it so special to serve the City of Indianapolis?
Indy is where I grew up – it’s where my family lives. A lot of times we are looking for a solution to problems and sometimes the answer is simply: Why not me? What can I do to better the solution? How can I be a part of the solution to the things I see in my community for all citizens of this city? Everyone should have the opportunity to live and play in a safe environment where they can call home. I get to help ensure that. Whether they are at home or work or grocery store or school or mall. Even on the worst day of your life, I’m here because I want to help you. We desire to help during a situation. When you know what your calling is – even your worst day, you still love what you do. It’s not just something that you just pick up. It’s in your DNA, it’s in your spirit. It’s in your heart.
You know we read/hear about new COVID-19 cases popping up all over the world and of course right here in Marion County, so as a frontline protector how are you staying healthy and protecting yourself?
My “me time” is working out – with social distancing, I’m at a disadvantage not being able to visit the YMCA. Can’t pour from empty glass – working out for me is relaxing and allows me to clear my mind so when I come to work I am not worried about things at home. I need to be at my healthiest. Now, I have adjusted my workout routine to run 4-miles before work.
You’ve shared some personal ambitions and stories with us and we can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing for our city. We’d love to know what’s giving you hope during this moment in history?
At the end of the day, faith – knowing that I’m 100% meant to do this work. Pandemic or not – it doesn’t matter. I love this job and love the city. It’s what I’m meant to do!