by Betty Henry (November 2012)
Service to the community is a cornerstone of the Ebell Club’s mission. It is exemplified in the careers of three of our club’s newest members: Tina Nieto, Felicia Hall and Diane Webb – all members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Captain Tina Nieto, Commanding Officer, Olympic Division, is a woman comfortable with “firsts.” In 2008, she became the first Hispanic female captain in LAPD history. She is also the first police officer to join the Ebell Club.
Tina commands a division of more than 270 employees serving an area with approximately 217,000 residents. “My work is about getting the right resources to the right people,” she says. “We look for trends, and then we look for ways to affect those trends. It’s all about reducing crime.”
Her leadership capability is the result of training, teaching and experience. In addition to serving eight years with the U.S. Army Reserve, Tina has served in numerous areas of the police force. She has designed and taught leadership programs and is a frequent public speaker on the topic.
“Changing lives for the better is the most important contribution a person can make,” she says. Captain Nieto is well prepared to handle the work she describes as “sometimes dangerous, always a challenge.”
Lieutenant Felicia Hall, Child Protection Section, Juvenile Division, loves a challenge. This may explain why she could recently be found at the U.S. Bank Tower, climbing 75 flights of stairs (1,679 steps!) in an effort to raise money for the Ketchum YMCA.
When she’s not volunteering, Felicia’s work involves handling child abuse cases. She has spent 27 years on the force in a variety of assignments, including homicide, robbery, burglary, auto theft, internal affairs – even traffic. “I like to challenge myself, so I’ve worked in lots of different areas,” she explains.
“It sounds like a cliché,” she continues, “but the thing I like best about my job is helping people – being there to provide the support they need. My grandma used to say, ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ I like to give back.”
Detective Diane Webb originally planned to “give back” as a newspaper reporter, but true love changed all that. When she married a police officer, she decided (as she describes it) to “join in on the fun.”
“It was a big change for me,” she says. “I wasn’t one to run five miles, leaping over walls and fences. I started out on the civilian side – to see if I would like it – writing reports for the Santa Monica PD.” Her journalism background helped. “I was way ahead because I knew how to spell,” she laughs.
Today, Diane is the Sex Offender Program Coordinator, specializing in registration, monitoring and tracking, and violation investigations – helping to ensure enforcement and acting as liaison with other government agencies.
Diane concedes that it isn’t always fun: “I worry that I’m going to miss something.” But, her desire to do investigative work in journalism has paid off well for the LAPD. “It’s important that this information be correct and up to date. It makes the world safer.”
Clearly, law enforcement is a gratifying challenge for all three officers. The Ebell Club – and the city of Los Angeles – is a better place, thanks to these talented, dedicated women.