Monday, September 16, 2019

Men and Women in Blue

Sergeant Linda Guerrero. Photo by Carole Musgrave

Sergeant Linda Guerrero. Photo by Carole Musgrave

Meet Officer Linda Guerrero

Sergeant Linda Guerrero describes herself as a “rare bird”, as she is one of very few native Floridians who live and work here on Marco Island. Linda was born and raised in Miami, where, playing piano, guitar and percussion, upon leaving high school, she studied to be a music teacher. Unable to continue her studies, Linda left college and worked for a while in retail management until she moved to the west coast of Florida where she had friends who encouraged her to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.

Linda attended Police Academy in Fort Myers for five months of extensive training, including defensive tactics, before beginning her position as a Correctional Officer for the State of Florida. For eight years, Linda was one of only twenty-five officers in charge of between 600 and 800 male inmates at the Hendry County Department of Corrections prison. During this time, in addition to her full-time job, Guerrero attended Crossover Academy part-time and became a certified Police Officer in 1999. For the next three years, she worked for the Lee County Port Authority at Fort Myers Airport, before coming to the Marco Island Police Department in 2002.

As a Port Authority Police Officer, Guerrero patrolled the terminals and grounds of both Fort Myers and Page Field airports, and a shopping center, dealing with disturbances with passengers, breaches of security, escorting intoxicated passengers from planes, and more. After the events of 9/11, additional police presence was required at airports and the job became “routine” for Linda. She was ready for more of a challenge.

Linda had enjoyed visiting Naples and Marco Island since the 1980s and, when a friend at the airport mentioned there was an opening in the Marco Island Police Department, she decided to apply for the position. She was offered a job here and has been part of the MIPD team for the past eight years—for the first three years as an officer, and for the next four years in investigations. This past January, Linda Guerrero was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, once again on patrol. Linda says the department has treated her very well. “And,” she adds, “there a lots of guys here. They are like brothers to me.” Linda is at home with the guys as she grew up with four brothers! As a result, she is very interested in sports. “I am a huge Hurricanes and Dolphins fan!” says Linda with a smile. She has been playing golf for the past ten years and modestly adds she is “noticing some improvement!” She values her off-duty time and makes the most of it. Never forgetting her first love, when Linda is home, she likes to play her musical instruments, including the drums.

Sergeant Linda Guerrero plans to stay with the Marco Island Police Department for at least another eight years. While working full-time with the department, she has completed a degree in Criminal Justice at Edison College and is continuing with Legal Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. As Linda pointed out, “Marco has virtually no violent crime like the big cities. In fact, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.” She continues, “I’d like to keep it that way!”

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