Sasha Larkin is the Police Captain for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Of course, looking at her, you never would have guessed.
Ever since Sasha was three-years-old, she wanted to be a police officer. She’s achieved that dream, and although she admits her femininity can sometimes get in the way of it, it also helped her get to where she is today.
When she first moved to Vegas at about 21 years of age, she was hired to work as a professional ballet dancer. During the day, she was a bartender at a local restaurant and the Police Sergeant for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department used to come in and have lunch.
Sasha’s initial plan was to go to graduate school before entering the Police Academy, but he insisted that she come straight to work at the department. She agreed.
“When I was first hired on, I was a very young, naive 23-year-old kid and I did have some life experience. I have traveled all around the world, I’ve been to college, but my outer shell didn’t fit my inner desire. I learned early on that I wasn’t going to be the fastest, I wasn’t going to be the strongest, and I’m not the smartest, so I had to outwork everybody.”
One of the key things that Sasha has focused on perfecting and implementing throughout her career is communication skills. They have helped her stand out and stand up for herself, even when her smaller stature and femininity hinder her.
“We call it command presence, the way that you walk up to the situation, the way you hold yourself. The first thing that happens when two human beings meet, they immediately start sizing each other up. That’s something we teach at the police academy is how to carry yourself. What is your command presence?”
Technology Hinders Our Communication Skills
As a woman, Sasha said that working on her tone, eye contact, and other critical areas of communication has also been very important. Unfortunately, she has noticed even with her own kids that today’s devices are very much hindering the development of people’s communication skills today.
“We’re seeing these kids come through the academy and they really lack the ability to communicate verbally. I had a kid that worked for me and he came in all excited one day. He told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend and I thought, that’s fantastic! But then he said, ‘I just texted her dad and asked for her hand in marriage.’ I couldn’t believe it. I told him to get into his car and drive over there to apologize for being a complete moron.”
In Sasha’s opinion, communication is still the most important thing. Her experience with traveling the world has also helped reinforce this opinion, and it reminds her of how blessed she is in life.
“If we don’t understand the people in our community, how are we ever going to connect to them?” This is the perspective that has truly shaped the way that Sasha approaches her career as a Police Captain and everything she does in the community.
She has also used her position as a platform to inspire other women to become more involved in law enforcement agencies and the military, both across America and all around the world.
Through her work, she hopes to empower women to break down the barriers while also encouraging everyone to continue putting communication at the forefront.