IU Northwest Officer Shares Her Passion for Police Work
We’re all trying to find our calling. Some of us know what we want to from a young age, while others find their passion along the way.
Nina Evans, an officer with the IU Police Department on the Northwest campus, didn’t always see police work as part of her career plans. It wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she realized protecting and serving the community was her calling.
“I was fortunate enough to go on a ride along, and it made me realize there are a lot of people in this city (Gary) that really need help,” Evans said.
A native of Gary, that one ride along during her senior year made her see the vital role that officers played in her own community. She realized she wanted to give back to her hometown and to her friends, family, and neighbors.
Since then, Evans has worked for both the Gary Police Department and now the IU Police Department. She said serving on campus isn’t much different than her previous position. “We’re all sworn officers, but our territory is just on a smaller scale,” she said. “I call it, ‘my community within a community.’”
And community is a big deal for Evans. The mantra “protect and serve” is commonplace across police departments, but Evans prefers to focus on the “serve” part.
“People call for the police’s assistance at some of their most vulnerable times.
They're calling because they have some type of crisis that they can't deal with themselves,” she said. “I want to help my people. I want to help my city.”
Evans’ dedicated to serving the campus community has paid off over the years.
Recently, she was nominated for the Outstanding Staff Customer Service Award.
While police work may not immediately come to mind when we think about customer service, Evans is the embodiment of serving the community for the greater good.
“I love people, I love interacting, I love to help,” she said. “You don’t do it for recognition, but it doesn’t hurt that people do recognize that you have a passion for serving.”
Since joining the IU Police Department, Evans has received more than just an award. She’s also been inspired by the hard work of the students she serves every day. “They’re so dedicated to what they do. Some of them go through rough patches, but they just bounce right back,” she said.
Seeing students achieve their goals and earn their degrees inspired Evans to go back to school, too. After transitioning her career to the campus, she decided to earn a bachelor’s degree in business. Eventually, Evans hopes to receive a master’s degree.
For the time being, Evans is excited to build on her passion for police work and continue getting joy out of positively impacting people. All the while, she’s learned to be herself in a predominately male environment, even though it was intimidating at first.
“I’m not going to try to imitate the guys [in the police department]. I don’t have to pretend to be so tough and strong,” Evans said. “I was able to get into the career field my way, and it’s been successful for almost 17 years now.”
After more than a decade in police work, it’s clear that Evans has found her calling and the IU Northwest community is better for it.