Blog Article

Darline: Life with the Badge

When Darline came into the world on June 24, 1949, at The Dorothy Roger’s Hospital in Detroit, she was the second black baby born in that hospital. “My mother said that I came out with my eyes wide open,” Darline says.

When the American House East II resident was working as a security guard at the Renaissance Center, Darline again became another second...she was the second black female to hold that job.

Later, as a member of the Detroit Police Department, Darline served the city from 1985 to 2000. For the first year, she walked businesses and had her own designated residential area. She learned the territory and got to know the residents. “We were neighborhood police,” she says.

Darline has loved the city of Detroit since her days living on the east side. From her elders she learned the area had been called “Black Bottom” because of the dark, fertile topsoil. Black Bottom had some of the poorest sections of Detroit with three to four families to a home.

As a child, she grew up near Indian Village, attended public school for one year, then went to St. Edwards. In the ninth grade, she started St. Catherine’s High School.

Darline met her husband at the age of 14. They married in 1965 when she was 16 and she had her son, Simpson Jr., the same year. Darline recalls it was a struggle learning how to be a young mother and a wife. She attended night school and graduated high school in 1968. In 1972 at the age of 22, she had her second child, Darlita. Her husband at that time was serving in the Vietnam War.

Darline says she prayed and asked God for a good paying, professional job and one day while working as a bank teller, a female police officer came in on a false alarm. Seeing her, Darline thought, “That’s what I need to be.”

She applied to the academy around 1977, and it took about a year until she was able to have an interview to join. "With children to think about, going into law enforcement wasn't an easy decision,” she says. Darline trained, graduated and when she received that first check and realized it was three times more than the amount she'd been making at her previous bank job, she knew ultimately this would be best for her children. “You have to follow through,” she told herself, “You can’t turn your back on the opportunity.”

She says much of the job of a police officer is community relations; helping community members of all ages gain their trust and know the police are there to help. She says you must discipline yourself and have the right mindset to be a police officer. Her time serving the people of Detroit offer so many memories, and she doesn't regret a minute. "I'm proud of my career and what I did."

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

Written By

Rachel Nagorsen

Rachel Nagorsen has worked in the senior industry for the past 20 years. She graduated from Oakland University with a major in Journalism. During her time in college, she was an intern at WDIV and enjoys broadcasting and public speaking. Rachel loves being able to combine her passion for writing with her love for working with seniors.

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