Oakdale Police Department’s Keri Redd, having competed against two other internal candidates within the 22 sworn-member department, took another step in advancing her police career when she was promoted to lieutenant this month.
“The panel said she had a lot of depth to her answers and a variety of experience,” said Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins regarding the comments from a three-captain and one-lieutenant interview panel from neighboring agencies. “All the candidates were judged as qualified but she was rated above.”
The 23-year law enforcement journeyman was modest about her accomplishment and recognized her competition as equally qualified.
“I could easily have worked for the other two,” Redd said.
The new lieutenant said she was excited to learn another facet of law enforcement as she takes on the second-in-command position for the local agency.
Redd embarked on her law enforcement trek at age 19 with the Fontana Police Department in Southern California as a police cadet and was elevated to a community service officer position where she learned dispatch duties and writing reports for property crimes. She later transferred to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department to work as a correctional deputy inside the jails and was made a training officer for newer deputies coming aboard.
In 1994, Redd put herself through the Modesto Police Academy and was hired by the California State University Stanislaus Police Department upon completion, where she stayed a few years before coming to Oakdale in 1997.
Redd left Oakdale in 1999 to accept a sergeant position with the Sonora Police Department and later became a district attorney investigator with Tuolumne County but longed for the street patrol and camaraderie that existed in Oakdale.
“I was young,” said Redd. “If I stayed as a DA investigator, I would have had a good career there but I think I was at a point where I still needed the street.”
She returned to Oakdale in 2003 and was later promoted to sergeant in 2005. As a sergeant, Redd served as a shift supervisor and for the last few years as the department’s administrative sergeant. She even performed a brief stint as the department’s acting lieutenant this year.
Her new role will have her overseeing patrol, traffic, investigations, records and communications, and the property sections of the department.
“I have many ideas and a vision I want to see this department go,” said Redd. “The higher you get, the better position you are in to implement things. I want what’s best for the department and community.”
Chief Jenkins said he was looking forward to working with Redd in her new function.
“She has a high level of energy and ability to do the job,” said Jenkins. “She looks out for the underdog and goes out to help those she feels may have been overlooked by the system.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the chief as we go from a good department to a great department,” said Redd. “I’m excited that there’s more for me to learn.”
Redd has donated time to the Girl Scouts where she teaches canoeing and helps young girls become leaders.
Redd, a mother of four and married to a Turlock police officer, said she’s always wanted a career in police work.
“There’s never been a day where I’ve said, ‘I wish I never went into law enforcement,’” said Redd. “I like what I do knowing I’ve been able to help along the way.”