As a Bakersfield police detective, Jessica Amos has had her share of assignments where she must blend into a crowd.
During her latest foray into a Princess Party held by a local Bakersfield girl, Amos found herself singing songs from Disney movies, having her hair braided, and answering questions from little girls about what life is like as a woman and a police officer.
“A group of female officers were asked to attend and pass out goodies for the girls. We ended up dancing to some Disney songs, mingling and doing the Cupid shuffle,” said Amos with a laugh. “It was really great and, more importantly, it humanized us. They could see that we are police officers, but we are also moms and daughters.”
The 4th Annual Princess Party is an event put together by 8-year-old Ivyskye White, who is the founder of Princess Posse, a bi-monthly magazine filled with content for girls, from math pages and crafts to articles. The magazine was the inspiration behind the Princess Party that is open to all Kern County princesses ages three to 20.
This year the event was held at Mill Creek Church on Saturday, June 25, and about 60 girls arrived in princess gowns and tiaras. This event is meant to empower girls, according to White, who believes “every girl should feel like a princess and be happy.”
Community Relations Unit Supervisor Carina Ortiz said this was the first year Bakersfield Police Department participated in the Princess Party.
“The gal who reached out to us was initially asking for giveaways to share with the girls who attended. They were expecting about 60 girls and young ladies to participate. I ended up asking if we could invite ourselves to attend,” said Ortiz. “It can be very impactful to see a group of officers anywhere, but a group of women officers attending an event especially for young girls, it can be very impactful.”
For Amos and the rest of the officers, getting a chance to mingle with the girls and allow them to get to know them as both law enforcement officer and as women felt empowering.
“We had girls ask us if we were real cops,” said Amos. “I think it’s important for girls to see us out in the community. Law enforcement is such a male dominated job that when girls see us, they can see they can do anything they want to do.”