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Arlington swears in 2012 M-P alum as newest police officer
ARLINGTON — When Arlington Public Safety Director Bruce Stedman met police recruit Kendahl Beecher, he learned not to make assumptions.
"When she walked in the door for her interview, I looked at her size and thought, 'This is not going to go over well,'" Stedman said of the 2012 Marysville-Pilchuck High School graduate. "But she amazed me, enough that I offered her the position right then."
Beecher could still be mistaken for a high schooler, with her petite frame and youthful face, but the Marysville native not only earned her associate's degree in criminal justice from Everett Community College last year, but was recently promoted to sergeant after serving four years in the Army Reserve.
"The Army obviously saw in her what I did," Stedman told the Arlington City Council March 21, before Beecher was sworn into the Arlington Police Department.
Beecher entered the police academy in October, and graduated March 9, but she's been interested in being a police officer since she was a child.
"I remember playing cops and robbers with my brother," Beecher said. "It was around high school that I knew this was what I wanted to do."
Beecher went on ride-alongs with police at age 18. Although they were uneventful, she found herself drawn to the camaraderie, which was what she had also found appealing about the military.
"I didn't want to just sit at a desk," Beecher said. "I wanted to be out in the community, helping people. There's a constant go-go-go to police work, and a sense of brotherhood, as you work with other officers as a team."
Beecher did well enough at teamwork to be named a squad leader at the academy.
Stedman cited Beecher's endurance in the face of her training, which included maintaining her composure after taking a shot of pepper spray in her eyes, as evidence of her fortitude.
After bearing up against such pain, it's perhaps no wonder that Beecher doesn't worry too much about how others might judge her, based on her appearance.
"Just like in the military, I know it's a hurdle with some folks that I don't look so old," Beecher said. "But actions speak louder than words. I don't try and convince people of anything. I just treat everyone with respect, and with any luck, they'll decide I'm just as good as any other officer."
Beecher praised her fellow officers for the warm welcome she's received, which is a big reason why she hopes to remain in the local area.
"I want to try out all kinds of police work, to see what types I enjoy most," Beecher said. "I'm interested in working in the K-9 unit, along with a number of other specialties."
Beecher looks forward to serving the public's needs, and hopes her fellow officers get credit having equally positive intentions.
"Many people have negative views of the police now, but I know these people," Beecher said. "They have good hearts and want to help."