Utah Woman In Her 50s Changes Career, Becomes Police Officer

Mar 29, 2021, 11:53 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Getting time away from patrolling is a stretch for Officer Michelle Mechling with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“Most the time, people think I am the supervisor,” she said.

Actually, she’s only been on the force for a few years.

“I have a son who is a marine,” Mechling said.

He inspired her to ditch her fitness career and chase her dream of becoming an officer — at 52 years old.

She’s one of the women that help make up roughly 10% of the department — a number that trends behind the national average of 13%.

“As a woman, what unique different set of skills that you maybe bring to the table that men maybe don’t have?” KSL’s Morgan Wolfe asked Mechling.

“It depends on the guy, right?” Mechling replied. “There is a lot of times … you can tell when I am on a call that people will automatically look at me and tell me the story, not the person asking the questions. They will tell me. I don’t know what it is, but I guess it’s that maternal thing. I have had some things happen, ya know? Like I get. I understand.”

She’s raised seven children and believes her life experiences as a mother shine on the force.

“We need women,” Mechling said.

The first female officer in Salt Lake joined the department in 1916, and Mechling hopes to see more women doing the same.

“The most rewarding thing is being able to help people,” Mechling said. “We do care and we want to help.”

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Utah Woman In Her 50s Changes Career, Becomes Police Officer