Undercover prostitute, hostage negotiator, Beach Boulevard patrol cop.
In her more than two decades as an Anaheim police officer, Alisha Halczyn has seen a lot of action.
Now, at 44, she’s tackling her most challenging assignment yet:
Being a mother of twin 8-month-old girls.
“Zoe needs a change,” Halczyn said as she placed one of her babies on a mat in a play area of a cavernous warehouse in Orange.
She fished around for a fresh diaper.
It was a week after Halczyn began a one-year leave from the APD to focus on her fraternal twins and a 9,000-square-foot CrossFit gym she and her husband opened in June.
With class set to begin soon in the gym near the Orange Circle, Halczyn got her babies comfortable in the toddler area, which is open to all gym members.
EagleWing CrossFit (eaglewingcrossfit.com) offers classes in the early morning and evening. Halczyn’s husband, Bill, 49, works for Boeing and is a former collegiate football player who coaches high school football.
After a few years of trying to have children, the Halczyns struck gold with Zoe Grace and Emmerson Faith.
Now the veteran officer, who juggled fulltime police work on weekends and Mondays with her girls for seven months — barely seeing her husband, who works a regular Monday-through-Friday shift — is adjusting to the change.
“Before I became a mother, if something were to happen to me, I’d only have to worry about myself,” said Halczyn. “Now I’ve got two babies who are relying on me to stick around.”
Halczyn’s last shift before she went on leave wasn’t dull.
She spotted the guy before any of the three people who were along for a ride-along did.
The man, appearing to be in his mid-20s, was briskly walking down a quiet suburban street in “The Canyon,” what APD cops call the Anaheim Hills area. Halczyn was a few hours into her 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. shift July 20.
She transferred to the relatively quiet APD’s East Station on East Santa Ana Canyon Road after she became pregnant.
The man was animatedly talking on a cell phone and appeared to be nervously looking around when Halczyn pulled up behind him on a normally quiet residential street.
“What’s going on?” Halczyn asked as he approached her patrol car — too quickly.
She hopped out of her car and escorted him over to a curb to talk to him.
The man didn’t realize it at the time — neither did the guests in her patrol car — but Halczyn had seen him toss a small black satchel next to a low brick wall dividing two homes just before she pulled up behind him.
After another APD officer, Chris Petropolus, arrived on the scene to assist, Halczyn went over to inspect the black satchel.
Inside the satchel she found a loaded revolver with no serial number and black masking tape on the handle, as well as drugs believe to be crystal meth.
When the APD officers had a tough time figuring out how to open the gun’s chamber, the suspect, after claiming the firearm belonged to a friend, patiently explained how.
The suspect, who turned out to be a 25-year-old ex-felon with an outstanding warrant, was arrested for possession of a concealed and loaded firearm and possession of drugs.
A neighbor who watched the bust go down walked up and thanked Halczyn.
“You probably saved someone’s life or property today,” Catherine Lagaris told Halczyn, her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail.
Back in her patrol car, Halczyn was humble.
“That’s 22 years of experience,” she said matter-of-factly.
Halczyn said she has been shot at during her career but never has had to discharge her weapon.
She originally wanted to be a lawyer.
But a six-month clerical internship at the APD that was required for her criminal justice major at Cal State Fullerton landed Halczyn in a ride along, which got her interested in law enforcement.
“I liked that it was different every day and I enjoyed putting pieces of the puzzle together,” she said of her internship.
Halczyn graduated from CSF in 1992 and after graduating from the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy, she started her career at the APD in December 1993.
She got introduced to CrossFit in 2009 at a gym in Anaheim Hills and has been an enthusiast ever since.
Some of her colleagues, including APD Lt. Eric Trapp, are members of EagleWing CrossFit. There are reduced rates for first responders and active military, as well as students.
One of Halczyn’s CrossFit friends, Alhambra elementary school teacher June Dojillo, 43, went on the July 20 ride along.
“She’s so feminine outside of her police uniform,” Dojillo said. “She wears makeup and cowboy boots.”
Becoming a mother has made Halczyn look at police work differently.
“Calls concerning children have always affected me, but now they are really difficult,” she said.
Halczyn mentioned a tragedy a few days before the ride along.
A Las Vegas girl, 3, died in a fall at an Anaheim hotel after visiting Disneyland with her family.
“Just hearing about it made me well up,” Halczyn said.
Her husband, a project manager in the strategic planning division at Boeing, said he’s glad to be able to spend more time with his wife, whom he met in 2010 and married in 2011.
“It (her willingness to take a leave) surprised me, because I’ve always known her as a police officer,” Bill Halczyn said. “It took us a while to get pregnant, and neither of us wanted to put the girls in child care, so this is a welcome change.”
Halczyn said she’s adjusting well to her hiatus from police work.
“It’s hard, because I liked working the streets,” Halczyn said while watching students in the evening class go through some power cleaning and jerking.
Zoe then had a meltdown.
“Hold on!” Halczyn told her from across the room. “Daddy’s coming!”
In her new role as a mother, that qualified as an emergency.