During her nearly 20-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Edwina Hunter, 57, has seen it all – the crime lab, the substation at Los Angeles International Airport, the patrol division and different bureau stations. She’s bounced around in administrative roles throughout LAPD, but in October she found a home as a secretary in the West Los Angeles division office.
“I just got the new title and I like it,” Hunter said. “In this position, I’m helping people a lot, helping the sworn officers. I enjoy that the most.”
Hunter is a key contributor to the office that includes staff members in the patrol office, the complaint unit and the captain she reports to. On a daily basis, Hunter maintains databases, oversees filing projects, assists other staff, and manages the captain’s calendar.
It’s the behind-the-scenes heroes like Hunter that allow LAPD’s finest to do their work and improve community relations. That, she said, is something that gives her a sense of pride each and every day on the job.
“Many officers are good and are trying to change the picture of LAPD, trying to stress what it can be when it works together with communities,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of it. That’s probably why I’m still here after all these years.”
A Local 3090 member since 2001, Hunter had a long spell of missing union meetings until recently. In the last year, her attendance at meetings has been more consistent and she tries to encourage coworkers to follow suit. Despite not knowing exactly what spurred her renewed interest, she knows it’s something she cares deeply about.
“I just think it’s important for everybody to pitch in and fight for the betterment of the department you work for,” she said. “It shouldn’t be just a few people. It should be everyone wanting to benefit from the positive aspects of the union. I’m worried people are afraid to fight back and are too lazy.”
Hunter is putting her money where her mouth is and exploring the possibility of becoming a union rep.
“If it works out,” she said, “I’ll tell people that in order for us to get what we want you have to be there to participate and have knowledge about what the union is and how it can work for you.”
Hunter, who lives in Carson, enjoys camping, fishing and hitting up outdoor concerts when she’s not working.
“But I also like to volunteer whenever I can to help the homeless,” she added. “Sometimes that just means seeing a homeless person on the streets and giving them an extra jacket. Sometimes, it means giving them the jacket I’m wearing.”