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Rookie Officer Follows Her Heart Toward Service

Publish Date 03/06/2024

Image of Officer Brooke Haynes


People would say she couldn’t do it. Or they’d laugh at her for wanting to.

The doubt punctured Brooke Haynes’ dreams of being a police officer to the point that she majored in psychology instead of criminology, her preference, at Missouri State University. The classes weren’t clicking. Simultaneously, protests in 2020 took hold of the country. At that point, Haynes wouldn’t and couldn’t stand on the sidelines any longer.

“I woke up one day and stopped caring what people thought,” Haynes said. “I wanted to be a part of the change because I think it’s important to shed a light in the darkness. I just stopped caring what people thought about me.”

At 5, Haynes knew she wanted to be a police officer. She wanted to make a positive impact and change the world. Police officers would visit school, and Haynes gravitated to them and their cause. There was no personal connection to law enforcement, though Haynes would come to understand it. Her father, she said, spent time in prison for most of her life. When she told him, while visiting him in prison, that she wanted to become an officer, her dad was completely supportive.

Haynes admits that despite her lifelong dream, becoming an officers was challenging. More specifically, the police academy was grueling, filled with setbacks, but followed by accomplishments.

“I had no confidence in myself,” Haynes explained. “I had self-doubt and so many sleepless nights. My friends would say that I’m outgoing, but as soon as I would walk through those doors, a wall would come up, and I didn’t know how to break it down. The instructors would tell me there are things we can fix, but confidence and command presence is not one of them. I had to do that for myself.”

The instructors explained to Haynes that she was the only person doubting her. Accepting that, it clicked again for Haynes. When she graduated from the police academy in November of 2023, Haynes received the Resiliency Award for her ability to overcome adversity. Today, Haynes is grateful for the tough academy days, calling them some of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of her life.

Today at KCPD, Haynes serves at Central Patrol Division, helping those in need. She met a victim of domestic violence recently who was afraid of her boyfriend. Haynes stayed with the woman, calling six shelters before finding her a safe place to stay. She and other officers also counseled a teenager with big dreams but going down the wrong path. These are the types of moments Haynes envisioned as a child. And working for the largest police department in the region, Haynes knows she’ll have plenty of different but meaningful career opportunities later in her career.

“I knew the opportunities we have here would help my career flourish the way I want it to go,” Haynes explained. “There’s so much variety here. I have a strong passion for kids. I want to end up working with them someday, hopefully. KCPD has so many possibilities.”

Having been influenced by officers at a young age, Hayne hopes she can inspire girls and young women who want to serve one day but may doubt themselves like she did.

“You can be anything you want to be,” Haynes said. “Don’t let people stop you. I know KCPD has been so supportive to me and helped me achieve everything I’ve everything I dreamed of. It’s been amazing.”


KCPD has police officer openings. Apply here.