GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton Police Chief Polly Olson stopped by Local 5 News for Thursday’s Community Update to talk about her career as a whole, as well as her vision and goals for the department as she begins her new role.

Chief Olson’s career spans 22 years with the Appleton Police Department, in what began as a Patrol Officer, Polly Olson’s career has now taken her to become Appleton’s first female Chief of Police.

When asked about her vision and goals for the department, Chief Olson says that she is taking things slow and assessing all the information available to her.

“Right now I’m just taking some time to assess where we are at, talking to all of my employees, and then coming up with a plan from there. [I’m] taking things slow, focusing on building relationships with our community members, and hopefully forging some new relationships.”

Chief Olson also touched on any changes expected for the department, “I don’t expect a lot of changes. My philosophy has always been ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it’ but certainly being open to looking for opportunities for change.”

The next topic discussed was the importance of women in leadership roles as well as the Women in Public Safety Academy.

“I think that in policing, having women in leadership roles can really set the standard to be leaders out in the community and that’s one of the reasons why we feel really strongly about holding our Women’s Academy,” stated Chief Olson.

Sign-ups are still available for the Women in Public Safety Academy until the end of January, and the event will take place on March 8.