February 6, 2024 / News

HERstory: Sergeant Christina Berg

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 a sergeant currently assigned to the Traffic Division – Collision Investigation Bureau (CIB) where I am responsible for investigating all major injury and fatal collisions city-wide.

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

I was hired by SDPD in July of 2008.

What inspired you to pursue a career in public safety? 

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be in law enforcement. I had a lot of interactions with the police as a small child, however, my interactions were positive. I always knew they were there to help my mom, my sister, and me.  And as I grew up, anytime I saw a police officer, I was fascinated and amazed by them. I idolized police officers as the best people in the world and I wanted to be a part of that family.

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

If you asked me 10 years ago what women contribute to the male-dominated industry, I would have told you, “Nothing different.” I would have said, we (men and women) are equal, and you have to be just as strong, smart, and tactical. But as I have grown and matured, I realized that women contribute so much more and that we are not equivalent to the men in our law enforcement family. That’s not to say we are better, just different, which is a good thing.

As women, we see problems and solutions differently. We process the emotions and feelings of victims, suspects, the community, and our brothers and sisters, and we are able to interconnect those emotions and feelings when solving problems, getting resources, understanding statements, and solving crime. For us (women), everything is connected, nothing stands by itself. Most women (in my opinion) are able to multitask the duties and responsibilities of police work similar to, and with just as much dedication, to how they multitask being a mother and managing a household.

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?

I have only recently started to get involved with the Women in Blue Initiative. In the past, I did not feel I needed to have support from other women; to hear their stories, because for me, I felt like “one of the guys.” Several years back, I went to the first quarterly Women’s Leadership Conference, and I really enjoyed talking and listening to all the women who were experiencing similar life situations as me. It was good to get their perspective and learn how they handled their issues.

Knowing others had or were experiencing similar situations helped me feel supported and it made me want to help and support other women (especially when it came to starting and having a family). This year was the first year I was able to attend the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Conference (mostly because I was not pregnant or just had a baby). I was very excited to finally be able to attend. I enjoyed the conference, networking, and learning from other women and their experiences and I cannot wait for this year’s conference.

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

All I ever wanted was to be a police officer driving a black and white, minding my own business for my entire career.  But very early on in my career, a sergeant I worked for helped convince me to seek more responsibility. He entrusted me with special projects and showed me how to be a good leader. I fought him at first when he tried to encourage me but ultimately, I still listened and put what he said in my back pocket. Over my career, as an FTO and sergeant, I have made it a goal to try and support and develop those who work for me.

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

HERstory is a chance for women to showcase their accomplishments and their leadership styles in law enforcement while still maintaining their sense of self.

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

I first met Chief Albrektsen when I was in the academy, and she was teaching a class. I immediately loved her energy. After WLLE, I had the opportunity to meet with Chief A. on a one-on-one basis. She shared with me her journey of the “art” of communication. I could not be more grateful to her for taking the time to share her story and to mentor me. Chief A. has empowered me and shown me how to grow and yet still be myself.

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