February 14, 2024 / News

HERstory: Detective Sergeant Nydia Castro

As we prepare to celebrate Assistant Chief Sandra Albrektsen with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Women in Blue Luncheon, each week we’ll be sharing a story of a female leader at the San Diego Police Department. The “HERstory” campaign is a vibrant tribute to the Honor, Excellence, and Resilience embodied by our women in blue, shedding light on the remarkable women behind the uniform.

Which unit are you currently assigned to?

I am currently assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit.

How many years have you served in law enforcement/public safety? 

I have been part of the San Diego police, law-enforcement family for over 25 1/2 years. During my time in the Department, I’ve had the opportunity to work on numerous work assignments with some amazing people.

What inspired you to pursue a career in public safety? 

My inspiration to pursue a career in law enforcement began by serving my country as a United States Marine. After serving, I knew I wanted to continue to be part of something that was bigger than myself. Being a police officer has afforded me the ability to make a positive difference every day.

What do you think women contribute to this male-dominated industry?

As women, we bring a more analytical thought process to the problem-solving arena as often, we are not the tallest, biggest, or strongest, so we use every resource available to ensure the best positive outcome. In addition, we bring an incredible amount of compassion and empathy.

How has the Women in Blue Initiative (WLLE scholarships, SDPD’s Annual Women’s Hiring Expo, Women In Blue Luncheon, SDPD’s Quarterly Women’s Leadership Conference, SDPD’s Peer Mentoring Program) impacted you?

The Women in Blue initiative has provided me with additional resources, self-efficiency, self-empowerment, and leadership.

Tell us about a time when you were mentored or supported in your career. 

One of my previous female supervisors helped and supported me by recommending me for a specialized unit assignment. Her belief and confidence in me made me feel self-empowered. Her advice to me was that in an effort for continual growth, you must be willing to put yourself out of your comfort zone.

I try to pay it forward by supporting others, being honest, and doing my best to be a positive influence.

This year’s theme is HERstory; what does that mean to you?

While my story and journey to where I am today may be different than others, we as women face similar hardships, which we work to overcome by continuously developing our knowledge, self-awareness, and professionalism in both our personal and professional lives.

Can you share an example or experience that illustrates how Chief Albrektsen’s leadership has influenced your own leadership journey?

Chief Albrektsen’s professional, knowledgeable, energetic, and positive approach to the career of law enforcement has provided me with an endless amount of self-worth and self-empowerment.

The 13th annual Women in Blue Luncheon: “HERstory,” honors Assistant Chief Sandra Albrektsen for her remarkable contributions to the Women in Blue Initiative and over 40 years of service with the San Diego Police Department. Join us on February 27, 2024, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

The luncheon brings business and community leaders together to recognize the achievements of female leaders in the public safety sector and to celebrate gender diversity in an occupation traditionally pursued by men. Elevating inclusion, leadership, and the empowerment of women, the initiative propels the advancement and representation of women in policing.

To register or learn more, go to womeninblue.org. To register and pay by check, download the Women in Blue Pledge Form