When Kelly Rice joined the Winchester Police Department in 1995, there weren’t many women in the field who she could look to as an example, but that didn’t stop her from making her mark on the male-dominated department.
“Just say ‘hey you know, what I may not be as fast or I may not be as strong but there are other things that I can do’, and I am a hard worker, and I am going to go out here and prove to everybody that I belong in law enforcement,” Deputy chief Kelly Rice of the Winchester Police Department said.
“There were quite a few people who when I came on like oh no there’s going to be a female around, now we have to act differently, now we have to worry about this,” she said.
But Rice never worried about what they said, and over the past 24 years she has gone from officer, to sergeant, to division leader and now to Deputy Chief. She was even the department’s first female interim police chief.
But one of her most important titles is “mom.”
‘We come in we do our job, and then we go home and get ready for the second job,” she said.
“I take it very seriously and it’s a profession and I strive to be the best I can every day and make the men and women here the best that they can be but it’s not who I am, it doesn’t define me as a person, what defines me as a person is being a wife a mom a daughter, and those things. So that’s what’s important,” Rice adds.
And she also loves being an example for other women entering the force.
“I got to kind of be that trendsetter, and when other women came along i got to say this is what worked really well for me,” she said.
And for the little girls who are still surprised to see women in uniform.
“I was at one of the local elementary schools and a girl came up to me and she says your a women police officer, I want to be one of them when i grow up,” she said.
Rice says during Women’s History Month and all year round, women have a major responsibility to one another
“Other women in authority and other women who carry leadership positions, need to be very supportive of other women.” she says.
When Rice first joined the Winchester Police department she was the only woman on the force and now the department is 20 percent female.