SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Police Foundation honored the women who wear the badge on Wednesday.
The annual Women in Blue event recognizes the top female officers in the department
"It's a great positive in my life to be able to represent," said Sandra Albrektsen who didn't always see herself as a police officer.
But, an internship changed her mind.
"Once I came and started working for SDPD, I realized that connecting with people on a very raw human emotion - that was for me," she said.
Albrektsen is the newly appointed Assistant Police Chief for the San Diego Police Department.
Wednesday afternoon, she was among three women honored for being trailblazers during the annual Women in Blue luncheon.
Albrektsen, along with fellow honorees Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Aida Vasquez and Police Dispatch Administrator Roxanne Cahill, serve different roles within SDPD.
It's an example - said Chief Shelley Zimmerman - of just how much the industry can offer to women.
"Look around, there are a lot of us and this is a very fulfilling, very meaningful career and we hope we hope that some of them today - a lot of kids here, especially young women - get inspired," Zimmerman said.
Currently, the department has about 200 openings Chief Zimmerman said - while open recruitment spans across the board - she'd like to see more women apply.
"You know, San Diego has always been very progressive," she said.
Chief Zimmerman is proof of that - as only four percent of police chiefs and 15 percent of sworn officers nationwide are women.
"I just couldn't be more thrilled, you know, when I joined the department in 1982, I could have never imagined that I'd be honored with the privilege to be chief of police," said Zimmerman.
Chance of light rain for Thanksgiving Thursday. Temperatures cool and onshore wind flow strengthens throughout the week.
More Malibu residents forced to flee the Woolsey Fire are back home Monday, in time to face a rain forecast for Wednesday that raises fears of possible mudslides as the estimated date for full containment of the fire was moved back to Thursday.
The search for remains of victims of the devastating Northern California wildfire has taken on new urgency as rain in the forecast could complicate those efforts while also bringing relief to firefighters on the front lines.
U.S. border officials reopen the northbound lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry Monday after a temporary shutdown as crews secure the border in response to thousand of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan.
San Diego Police on Sunday were investigating an attack that left a man with injuries he is not expected to survive.
A damaged fire hydrant caused a large geyser and street flooding in the Colina Del Sol neighborhood, just south of Talmadge on Sunday.
Nearly 3,000 migrants are currently living in the Tijuana, Mexico, and thousands more are expected to arrive in the coming days. On Sunday, Tijuana residents gathered around a monument to express their concerns, many calling it an "invasion."
Walkers participating in The Susan G. Komen 3-Day San Diego - including News 8’s own Barbara-Lee Edwards - finished their 60-mile journey on Sunday. The annual walk, which supports breast cancer research and programs, raised $6.3 million this according to Komen officials.
Residents of Malibu forced to evacuate because of the Woolsey Fire continued returning to their homes Sunday while others received notice they could return by Monday, as the estimated date for full containment of the fire was moved back to Thursday, and a rain forecast for Wednesday was creating new fears of possible mudslides.