Through her nearly 20 years of law enforcement service and in her personal life, Lt. Heather Glogolich of the Morris Township (NJ) Police Department has accumulated a variety of experiences—ranging from good to horrific—that she has incorporated into both her leadership style and in the training she offers through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. The training, which Glogolich is now starting to teach nationally, is called “The Complete Female Cop.”
The course is about “navigating a career in law enforcement,” Glogolich says. “And there are issues that present themselves to women in law enforcement that are gender specific.”
Currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Saint Elizabeth University, Glogolich says her studies focus on “servant leadership,” which she also teaches to fellow officers. “Servant leadership is about giving back not just to your community, but to your fellow officers, to your family. I’ve been very blessed to have an administration that’s let me run with a lot of stuff throughout my career,” she explains.
Glogolich now serves as a patrol lieutenant for the Morris Township PD. Her collateral duties include working with domestic violence victims and training officers to help them. She is uniquely qualified for the job.
In October 2008, she was terrorized, severely beaten, choked, and abused by her then husband. He was a fellow police officer and they met in 2004 in the academy. Two years later they were married. They had two children. It seemed like the ideal young family. Then he came home “very, very drunk.” The ordeal lasted four hours. She didn’t think she would survive it, especially when he put a gun to her head and started to pull the trigger. That’s when he broke down sobbing and passed out.
When she returned to duty, Glogolich was careful not to let officers who didn’t know her story know how bad it really had been. “I was worried if my guys would trust me to have their backs when they would think I couldn’t even take control of my own personal life.”
That changed when she was on patrol and dealt with a badly abused domestic violence victim. “She said to me, ‘You can’t possibly understand how I feel.’ It wasn’t a conscious decision to talk about it. It just came out.” Glogolich told the victim her story, and she helped her get out of the relationship and send her abuser to jail. “I realized at that moment talking to her that I had to turn all my pain into purpose.”
Today, Glogolich is very open about the worst night of her life. She has blogged about it, talked to the press about it, and she uses her experience to teach officers how to respond to such incidents and help victims. She also has helped refine an app for domestic violence victims called VictimsVoice.
The app helps victims document what happened to them, so that it can be used to prosecute the abuser and/or establish grounds for a temporary restraining order. Glogolich is not paid for her work on the for-profitproduct.