By Sarah Davis
For the first time in the history of the Harrisonville Police Department it now has a female detective. In January, Kristi Hunziker, who has been with HPD since October 2014, was promoted to detective.
Hunziker grew up in the area so she knows how important it is to serve the community and how important her role is.
“It feels really good to be the first female detective in Harrisonville. I’m very proud of that, but I take great pride in my work in general,” she said.
Hunziker grew up on a farm near Harrisonville and said she is accustomed to working hard.
“I’ve been working on a farm close by since I was a kid, so I know about long hours and how to balance daily life.” Hunziker said.
Hunziker said she still has a lot of family in the area and the city is important to her.
“I love the atmosphere here. The department is great, the town is great. The people I work with are really awesome.” she said.
There two women on the force at HPD, the other is Officer Makayla Krantz.
“I think there is a good number of women in law enforcement. There are definitely a lot more now. I think women bring perspectives to the force that men sometimes might not have. It’s a lot more diverse than it used to be, for sure.” Hunziker said.
Having been with the department six years, Hunziker knows what it takes to get her career to the next level.
“Sergeant isn’t necessarily my goal. Ultimately, my goal is to stay in Harrisonville. This is the place I want to be. Aside from that, I just want to do this job well.” Hunziker said.
She said she thinks being a woman actually helped her on the job.
“I haven’t been treated differently because I’m female. I actually think it has helped. Women and children seem to be more open to speaking to me sometimes.” she said.
“I was not promoted to detective because I’m a woman. We all have to meet the same physical requirements and at the end of the day, it’s about who is best for the job.”
Hunziker said she has always had law enforcement on the brain. Though she didn’t start out wanting to pursue police work right out of high school, she eventually went through the police academy after attending State Fair Community College, Sedalia.
She attributes a lot of her success to the school.
“Well, you can’t even be a cop until you are 21. Other than that, if I could give young people in general – not just girls – advice, it would be to go to a community college. You will save a lot of money and time while earning a degree.”
Hunziker also believes women will become much more prevalent in the police field within the next decade as they continue to grow. She hopes to see Harrisonville find more female recruits and is all for recruitment efforts.