She always knew she wanted to help people
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the state. Its campus divisions, however, can still have a "small department atmosphere," even when the campus is located in downtown Indianapolis.
IUPD-IUPUI Detective Sgt. Kimberly Minor joined the division in 1996 and finds this atmosphere, where she has developed lifelong friends, very appealing. Not only does she get to know colleagues well, but officers often can spend more time with victims.
"You can develop a rapport with the people you deal with because you're not going from run to run to run," she said. "You feel like you can help more because you can spend more time with a victim or that case."
After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in criminal justice, Minor worked at a law firm as a paralegal as she considered attending law school or beginning a career in law enforcement. The legal work did not seem as fulfilling or intriguing as she had hoped, so she began her career as a police officer and has never regretted it.
"It sounds cliché, but I wanted to help people," she said from the Ball Hall Annex, the current location of IUPD-IUPUI.
Some people will recognize her as their instructor for IUPUI's 1-credit Rape Aggression Defense class. Minor has worked as a bike officer, field training officer, hostage negotiator, and accident reconstructionist instructor. She teaches Fair and Impartial Policing, a class that all IUPD officers are taking this year.
For around seven years, she has also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for abused or neglected children so that they don't fall through the cracks in typically overburdened legal and social services systems. They often go into homes where they are not wanted.
"I have always had a passion for children -- that is my heart," Minor said. "And knowing how many children are abused, I had a desire to help. I've always been a helper, giving back to the community."
Police work can be challenging -- and so can CASA volunteer work. Minor said she quickly realized it was harder mentally than she had expected. But the work is important -- being a child's voice in court when they don't have one.
"I've had some hard cases," she said. "The fulfilling part is knowing I've been able to make a difference in a child's life. There have been cases where kids have been put in a better environment, and other cases where the mom betters herself with classes and the family reunited and
CASA is always looking for more volunteers, she notes.
Minor also is married to a police officer. Her husband works for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. She said having a husband who also is a police officer is a "great thing" because it makes discussing their work so much easier. And if they don't want to talk about work, they both can relate.
"I think having both of us in law enforcement helps us distress -- and it helps our marriage, too," she said.