I’m Doreen Olko and I’m the Chief of Police for the City of Auburn Hills, Michigan. I’ve been the chief since 1997 and became the Director of Emergency Services on January 1, 2012 when I accepted responsibility for both the police and fire departments. In January 2015, the police and fire departments were separated once again. Deputy Director Jim Manning became the Fire Chief and I returned to being the Chief of Police – truly my deepest passion. Being the chief here is a very interesting thing. We do some interesting things–different than other kinds of communities and that’s what I like best about it. I’ve been a police officer in 3 different departments and in the business since 1973. I’ve worked as a sheriff’s deputy, township police officer (promoted from officer to captain) and now for a city police department. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Technology from Eastern Michigan University. I’ve been married for 39 years to my best friend. We met while working as police officers for the same department so he understands me and my love for policing. We have one adult son who is an architect and who, with his lovely wife, have provided us with a grandchild and a granddog.
And I know you’re going to ask–since I get asked all the time: How many women police chiefs are there in Michigan? The answer? I’m one of about 8 or 9 at the moment (it changes all the time). There are about 600 total police agencies in Michigan. It is not known how many women are chiefs in the US but we do know that the number of women police varies between about 10 and 12% nationally for all ranks.
Life is great. I enjoy family time, golf, reading a good book and some crafts. Safe to say that except for my family–policing is my life. I believe that it can be a force for good in the world.
I am a lucky person–I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.