Sgt. Kimera Woods, 34, joined NOPD in 2009. She was promoted to sergeant a little more than a year ago and she’s currently assigned to the Sixth District. The native New Orleanian grew up listening to contemporary Christian artists like Mary Mary and Nicole C. Mullen, and she has sung the National Anthem at a number of area events including a Saints charity softball game, Mayor Landrieu’s State of the City Address, and the graduation of NOPD Recruit Class #179.
Here’s a true New Orleans question for you: Where did you go to high school?
“I went to two, actually – Eleanor McMain and New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School. I went a half day to each one.”
Why did you want to become a New Orleans Police Officer?
“Originally I wanted to be a doctor, I guess I was always good at science and math, and I was interested in doing something to help people. But being a doctor wasn’t the best route for me. So I was working at a bank when a NOPD officer started recruiting me. I’d been at the bank for about two years and I was still a teller – I wasn’t getting promoted. It took about a year but I finally decided to give NOPD a try. I never thought I could be a police officer because I thought I was too small.”
What incidents or calls for service resonate the most with you?
“I have a passion for talking to youth, especially the ones where there’s still a glimmer of a chance they might listen to you. There have been times where I stayed on a call and talked to teenagers who might be just stepping on to that wayward path but I can see that there’s still a chance to reach them. I’ve stayed an extra few minutes and worked on that kid, just trying to get to them and have them understand that what’s out in the streets is not for them. Sometimes parents will recognize me now and remember me spending time talking with their child. They stop me and tell me how they’re doing now – things like ‘My daughter is in college now – I can’t thank you enough for talking to her.’”
What is the best part about your current position?
“I’m able to see a different side of policing. As a patrol officer you’re making arrests and taking reports, but now I’m getting to know people in a different way. My job is more community-oriented so I’m talking with people at community meetings and through various community outreach events. I’m not the bad guy all the time!”
How long have you been singing?
I started singing when I was two – just singing around the house. One day when I was a little older my dad heard me singing in my room and he encouraged me to sing at our church. Initially I resisted, but he said ‘Kimera – you’re going to sing!’ So I started singing and I’ve been doing it ever since.”