WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — For Metropolitan Police Department Captain Judith Mack, working as a police officer has always been a fulfilling job.
“I’ve had a wonderful career,” she said. “There’s always that desire to make it better. If I can fix one thing for today, I can make it better for tomorrow. One thing at a time, let’s try and make it better. And that’s my goal every day, to make it better.”
Now, the job just became even more rewarding. Her daughter, Sydney Mack, is following in her footsteps.
“It makes me proud,” said Captain Mack. “It makes me a little nervous, policing is not an easy profession.”
Sydney said she’s always wanted to be in law enforcement.
“Just about everything, I’ve always been interested,” said Sydney. “I just always wanted to be involved. I can’t imagine a time — or think of a time when I didn’t want to be involved in law enforcement.
Right now, Sydney is serving as a civilian for MPD and works as an administrative operations clerk. She’s now starting the process to become a sworn officer with the goal of becoming the next “Captain Mack,” like her mom.
Judith Mack first began serving in 1999. She’s risen the ranks from sergeant to lieutenant to captain. She now works with the Homeland Security Bureau, where the department monitors the entire city for major events from shootings and carjackings to inaugurations and protests.
Mack said the latest shared experience between mother and daughter — working in law enforcement together — will grow their bond in new ways.
“When she makes it onto the department I have an understanding of what she’s going to go through as a female officer. Sometimes you’re more challenged on the street,” said Mack.
The two admitted that they don’t know of any other mother-daughter duos on the force.
“Mother-daughter? I’m not really sure. I know a couple of father-son,” said Sydney. “It makes me feel good I guess. I hope in the future we’re not the only ones.”
The Macks are hoping to inspire other women to join the ranks of law enforcement.
“It’s a wonderful career, the career is what you make it,” said Captain Mack. “Women have a different perspective. So, we may get to the scene, we can calmly talk about things, we just have a different way about us.”
According to the 30 by 30 Initiative, women are widely underrepresented in public safety. Just 12% of sworn law enforcement officers are women; only 3% are in leadership roles.
The numbers at MPD are higher, with women making up 23% of the sworn staff. The agency has committed to the 30 by 30 Initiative, a goal to ensure 30% of the agency’s recruitment class is made up of women by 2030. Last year, 52% of MPD’s recruit class were women.
That’s encouraging for Mack. She said she’s seen the culture of policing change over years with more accommodating policies for families on the force.
“It makes me feel wonderful, just knowing how society is changing as a whole,” she said.