Officer Judinna Gulpan

"For me a good day is seeing a smile on someone's face. Just that relief that I helped them feel better about their day."

Officer Judinna Gulpan Officer Judinna Gulpan visiting businesses in the ID

Officer Judinna Gulpan visiting businesses in the IDAbout Jean Gulpan 

Being a police officer in Seattle never entered Judinna "Jean" Gulpan's mind until she was in her 30s and well into the career she studied for.

Born in the Philippines, Jean was the oldest of two girls who were raised in Southern California. Jean was into fashion, sports and plenty of sunshine. After graduating from high school in Simi Valley she went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa on a partial cheerleading scholarship. Topping out at 5 feet in height, Jean was the "flyer," the person on top of team pyramids and the one tossed high into the air during cheer performances.

Jean graduated with a degree in fashion advertising and marketing and went on to work for a major retail company - even moving to Hong Kong to open a store. She moved to the Seattle-area more than five years ago to open another store.

Becoming an Officer

"After about a year, year and a half of being a district manager, I decided it wasn't what I wanted to the rest of my life," Jean says. "I went to a career fair and talked to SPD Recruiter Andre Sinn and considered career in law enforcement."

Jean admits a friend convinced her to talk to Sinn. "I was expecting to be judged, to be looked up and down and told 'you want to be a law enforcement officer?'." Jean thought her height was going to keep her from being accepted, or the fact she came from a retail, not criminal justice, background. 

But on Feb. 15, 2018, Jean Gulpan was hired by the Seattle Police Department.  

Representative to Chinatown-International District

Jean, now "Officer Gulpan," started her career in the West Precinct, patrolling downtown Seattle. She recently became the Community Police Team representative for the Chinatown-International District. Her job is to connect with the people who live, work and visit the diverse and historic Seattle neighborhood.

"Movies and tv are going to do what's exciting, but the real work is building the relationship - the person you're talking to after the 911 call or the barista you meet getting coffee. Having people realize police officers really are human," she said. "For me a good day is seeing a smile on someone's face. Just that relief that I helped them feel better about their day."