The Winston-Salem Police Department – Recruiting With a Sense of Compassion & Caring

With boundless efforts to strengthen communication and collaboration between the city of Winston-Salem and its dedicated police department, the need for more diversity in the field has never been greater. For a variety of reasons, an increased female presence in law enforcement contributes to the strength and success of the force – with just the amount of compassion and caring you might expect.

While getting to know what makes the Winston-Salem Police Department unique and how their all-important recruiting process operates, you’ll meet Public Information Officer Annie Sims. Sims began her career in law enforcement at the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in 2020 and moved to this role with the WSPD in September of 2023. With a focus on reaching out to diverse, qualified and community oriented individuals through the use of ever-growing social media platforms, she relies on the fine-tuned tactic of interpersonal communication (often another female strength) to attract a quality group of potential applicants to the department. 

There are proven character traits that typically stand out among female recruits – and simply strengthen bonds within the community:

  • Compassion
  • The innate ability to de-escalate a volatile scenario differently.
  • Strength of relationship building, especially with other women in the community.
  • Greater attention to detail.
  • An intensely caring mindset.
  • The ability to multitask in difficult situations.

The number of women serving Winston-Salem in law enforcement is growing, but sharing the need and available opportunities is crucial. “We currently have a total of 170 females working at the Winston-Salem Police Department, which is out of 550 total current employees,” Sims shares. “Sixty-three out of those 170 females are sworn officers.”

Part of the focus on interpersonal communication means department recruiters are taking a personal interest in how their newest officers came to be familiar with the WSPD and learning their specific routes to being part of a profession that changes lives on a daily basis.

For WSPD recruit Alexandra “Eve” Montgomery, that path introduced her to the Appalachian State Scholarship Program, which contributes financial support for college and a career once you have graduated. The scholarship covers books, fees and tuition for criminal justice majors only and is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who must pass a mini-background check and initial eligibility testing. Scholarship recipients must have a 3.0 GPA, complete a summer internship with WSPD and make a three-year service commitment with the department after graduation.

Montgomery graduated from Appalachian State University in December of 2023 with a bachelor of science degree in criminaljustice and shares that she’s wanted to be a police officer even before high school.

“I was fascinated by how the criminal justice system is one of the few institutions in the United States that, for better or worse, every person encounters at some point,” she adds. “I soon learned that, as a police officer, I would be able to be with people on their worst days – from comforting a victim or helping to bring someone to justice for a crime they have committed. Most importantly, I want to help people feel safe.”

As a woman, Montgomery is a compassionate, hardworking officer who strives to build a connection to those she meets out and about in the community. She’s also grateful.

“I am lucky enough to have so many women in this department who I can look up to as role models and for support when I need it,” she adds.

As with any new adventure, there are challenges!

“My biggest challenge has been learning how to push past my limits,” she says. “But these moments have also been my proudest throughout the academy so far. Each time I clear another hurdle, I prove to myself I am so much stronger – both mentally and physically – than I originally thought and that I will be worthy of the trust and duty associated with wearing the Winston-Salem Police Department Badge.”

When speaking about the recent successes in recruitment, Sims is confident that the department’s more engaging website and social media platforms specifically dedicated to recruiting, have been significant influences (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, X). Sims keeps the department’s social media content closely aligned to what’s happening around the city and reflective of current events. With the new department website launch and constantly increasing number of followers on social media, she has been able to structure a more relevant marketing plan – building overall trust and confidence in the profession of police work. The WSPD also relies on excellent training programs and cutting edge technology to remain successful.

Sharing details of the multi-phase selection process and hiring procedures within the Winston-Salem Police Department, Sims believes the future is bright for securing the most highly qualified female candidates – who will also be compassionate voices within the community.

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”

~ Michelle Obama

If this is an opportunity that speaks to you – or someone you know – check out the recruiting website, call or text 336.602.4914 to chat with one of the police department recruiters or email for upcoming opportunities to kickstart your journey. To stay up to date with what’s happening within the Winston-Salem Police Department, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and X @cityofwspolice. For more information on the Appalachian State Scholarship Program – a life-changing opportunity for criminal justice majors – visit


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