During former Houston Police Chief Harry Caldwell’s tenure, the department used the campaign, “The Badge Means You Care.” The spirit of those words remain intact in the department’s community policy model.
HPD Officer Rebecca Skillern epitomizes the mantra as she demonstrated recently at a conference in October. Deb White of the Houston Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association recently wrote to the mayor’s office about the conference.
Words along cannot express our sincere gratitude and respect for Sgt. Rebecca Skillern and the entire Houston Police Department (HPD). On Oct. 23, 2021, Sgt. Skillern hosted a breakout session called “Technology Revolution Meets Safety, Mental & Physical Health”, for the Young Women Energized (YWE) STEM Virtual Conference. Sgt. Skillern went beyond the call to service and took the time out of her busy schedule to talk with these high school young ladies about coping skills and understanding the lessons learned around COVID-19 , Technology, Mental Health, Physical Health & their Safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, parents’ loss of jobs and mental distress has negatively impacted young people like never. Sgt. Skillern gave the ladies a roadmap to help them navigate through the technology pit falls, mental and physical distress that they have been facing due to COVID-19 and other stresses.
“It’s OK Not Being OK”, was one of the messages that Sgt. Skillern shared with the young ladies during these difficult times and most importantly letting them know that it’s OK to ask for HELP! Asking for HELP is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and courage. Sgt. Skillen, went on to explain the warning signs and what they should observe within themselves and within their peers to say, “I Need HELP.” Sgt. Skillern response to the “Fake It Until You Make It”, resonated as that is NOT our truth! We as women have the fortitude to achieve and believe in our abilities without faking it!
Because of HPD’s outreach to the community, we now have young ladies that are interested in careers within law enforcement and wanted to learn more about how they can utilize their skills and talents within HPD like Sgt. Rebecca Skillern (that’s powerful)!
The YWE’s #SisterSTEM motto is “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou. Sgt. Skillern, you have touched the hearts and minds with your powerful message to these young ladies (us old folks too). We honor you for your service within HPD and we thank you for your commitment to the community and the #SisterSTEM next generation of women leaders. These young ladies can “Imagine Tomorrow”, because they can see a strong woman like you willing to shine your light on them, and when you have light, you can truly See and Believe!
A quote from one of the young ladies that attended your session “This was one of the most inspirational and love of Sisterhood message I have ever experienced”!
Thank You, Sgt. Rebecca Skillern and Team HPD!
Deb White, PMP
Young Women Energized Scholarship Chair 2021-2022
Houston Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association (HCPAAA)
Class #57 – Lifetime Member
3rd Ward Proud Citizens on Patrol