December 21, 2023 / News

HERstory: Detective Sophia Suarez

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.

I hold Chief A (Albrektsen) in the highest regard and can think of no one better to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award! Over the many years, she has inspired so many men and women to believe in their own ability to overcome adversity and push through when things get tough. She has been a true blessing for our department.

Detective Sophia Suarez

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

I have served 23 years with SDPD and worked in a variety of investigative units.

What inspired you to pursue a career in public safety? What do you think women contribute to this male-dominated industry?

I knew I wanted to pursue some type of career in law enforcement since high school. I have always possessed an innate desire for making a positive impact and serving/protecting other people.

I feel women in law enforcement bring a substantial sense of compassion, resiliency, and problem-solving qualities.

How has the Women in Blue Initiative impacted you?

Participating in all of these incredible events over the past few years has solidified that being together is better! I believe the implementation of mentoring and advocating for women is the successful path to building a strong workforce. Women in law enforcement need to be fully committed to supporting other women. Ensuring we are well prepared and confident to give our best daily. Without a doubt, women perform to their highest potential when they feel supported and appreciated.

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

A specific time when I was greatly supported in my career was when I was in the promotional process for Investigations. I had several female officers (of all ranks) assist me with my interview process. There was zero judgment, just invaluable support, and priceless encouragement.

This experience has given me the utmost respect to “pay it forward.” As a background detective with SDPD, I pay it forward by giving my candidates, (male/female) the encouragement, and the vision to seek opportunities outside their comfort zone and aspire to do great things.

My primary focus is to instill and reinforce a positive mindset. It’s not just about the skills; it’s about believing in ourselves and each other.

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

HERstory, to me, is a personal and meaningful story of events filled with inspiration, motivation, and unwavering dedication. A real-life story that discovers the journey is just as important as the destination.

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

One of Chief A’s favorite quotes is “Don’t be a one trick pony.” Meaning, don’t be great at just ONE thing, be great at MANY things. Her leadership and guidance motivated me to explore various opportunities within the department and instilled that continuous desire for self-improvement in my personal and professional life!


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 To register and pay by check, download the Women in Blue Pledge Form.