Captain Colleen Stuart | YWCA Women of Excellence
Captain Colleen Stuart #340
Topeka Police Department
At age 14 Colleen found the Topeka Police Law Enforcement Explorer Post. It fostered a sense of service, honor and leadership. She was soon promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in charge of training for the Post.
Twenty years later at the TPD, Colleen continued to build her leadership and organizational skills. Initially she worked in the middle school as a School Resource Officer gaining experience teaching and mentoring students. Promoted to Sergeant Colleen was charged with recruitment and hiring of Officers. She directed and supervised a team of 15 officers, and was selected as Sergeant of the Chief’s Special Projects, where she organized and coordinated large scale projects requiring detailed plans and worked with various internal departments and external agencies.
In that position Colleen researched, developed and co-founded the department’s Peer Support Team. Appointed to Program Manager, she led a team of 12 trained officers who assist their coworkers in time of crisis. As Lieutenant, Colleen expanded the Departments’ social media presence on media outlets and trained all officers.
Additional responsibilities included directing, coordinating, revamping and supervising the Volunteer, the Chaplaincy, and the Citizens Police Academy programs. The coordination and attention to details are vital to making these programs work by educating and bridging the information gap.
Promoted to Captain, Colleen currently serves in the Field Operations Bureau overseeing, coordinating, and directing six Lieutenants and over 130 Patrol Officers.
She serves on the board of the Kansas Capital Area Red Cross, a member of Women in Public Service Network and NAWLEE. Colleen has a special needs daughter and is a member of the local Topeka Autism Support Network. She has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
TK: What inspires you?
COLLEEN: When people are genuine. When they are doing and sharing what they love to do. In my profession it is those officers- at every rank- who are helping and doing without needing to be asked. They do it because they care- that is inspiring to me. To continue to be like them and to work alongside them.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
COLLEEN: There is something to learn from every person and every situation you encounter. Don’t ever believe you are better than someone else. As long as you believe you are never the smartest person in the room- you are open to success.
TK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your journey?
COLLEEN: Strive to do what is best, not what pressure or popular vote dictates. Do what you know is right because ultimately it will be you that either stands tall or falls on the sword. When you know it was the right thing to do, there are no worries.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde