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Senior Trooper Peggy Bishop
Striking a Balance...
Senior Trooper Peggy Bishop with her Motorcycle
Senior Trooper Peggy Bishop
Impressed with Law Enforcement at a Young Age
Trooper Peggy Bishop became interested in law enforcement at an early age.  So, her parents occasionally made arrangement for her to ride along with officers in her community.

"I was impressed by what I observed," said Bishop. "So I joined a Cadet program with the Beaverton Police Department. I did that for four years and during that time started a Bike Path Patrol Program. After school I would patrol bike paths because there were lots of gang-related fights that were occurring."
 
After leaving the Cadet program, Bishop served as a Police Reservist with the Beaverton Police Department. She eventually obtained a position with Multnomah County Jail Corrections, where she worked for four years before joining the Oregon State Police.
 
"I always wanted to work the road," said Bishop.
 

Training for Perfection as an Honor Guard Member
Bishop's first assignment with OSP was with the Salem Patrol Office. While there, her coach, Lieutenant Mark Cotter, introduced her to the Department's Honor Guard. "I remember helping him get his outer garments on right before a funeral and thinking, “The Honor Guard represent the best of OSP.” They were very professional and they trained to be perfect.
 
This interest in the Honor Guard Unit led to her own involvement. She is one of approximately 30 members of the Department who drill and train frequently, preparing to present Colors at ceremonies throughout the State and nation. On behalf of the Department, the Honor Guard shows honor and respect for fallen troopers from states across the country.

Becoming OSP's First Female Motor Officer
Bishop's assignment at the Salem Patrol Office was influential in another way as well. She had the chance to watch OSP's Motor Unit (motorcycles) get underway. At the time, there were four members in the unit, and they allowed her attend a few of their training sessions. Bishop had been riding motorcycles on and off since she was 16-years old, so she felt prepared to talk to supervisors about eventually joining the team. Eventually, Bishop became the Department's first female member of the Motor Unit. She now finds herself patrolling high traffic areas of the state on her motorcycle.
 
Bishop is quick to point out, however, that her work also gives her plenty of opportunity to travel to more remote areas of the state during the summer months. "We frequently get called to work in Eastern Oregon," said Bishop. "It's just beautiful over there. We work rodeos and county fairs to help with traffic and the droves of people who visit during peak season.”

Saving Lives - All in a Day's Work
The job is full of surprises. Bishop recalls an incident that occurred a couple years ago when she noticed an ambulance whiz by as she was issuing a citation. After finishing with the citation, Bishop hopped back into her patrol car and headed south towards Salem. On the way, she noticed the same ambulance pulled over in the median with its hazard lights on. When she stopped to check it out, she discovered that it was from Oregon Health Sciences University.  The medical crew had been responding to a call from Salem to assist with a premature baby. They told Bishop their ambulance had broken down, so Bishop drove them to Salem Hospital. When they arrived, Bishop helped them carry their gear into the hospital.
 
About 8 p.m. that night, a nurse called the OSP Dispatch Center with a message for Trooper Bishop. According to the nurse, the baby most likely would not have lived if Bishop had not stopped when she did.  "If that is the best thing that happens during my career, it will be the memory of a lifetime," said Bishop.

Leaving Comfort Zones
This dramatic episode holds special meaning for Bishop, as she, too, has special ties to parenthood. "Being a law enforcement officer and having a family is not easy," said Bishop, "but it can definitely be done. I was a single mom when I joined the Department, but was lucky because I was assigned to an office where all the guys wanted to work nights, so I only had to do a tour of less than a year working nights. I also had to sell the house that had just been built a year before and move to a new community. Sure, it was upsetting, but it made me stronger as a person. I moved out of my comfort zone and had to survive. Now I feel comfortable traveling or working anywhere…I've been there…done that."
 
Perhaps that hardest adjustment for Bishop as a parent has been to accept change at a moment's notice. She never knows when something will happen that will result in having to work a later shift or overtime hours. Her involvement in the Honor Guard, too, requires her to be prepared for the unknown. "I got a call at 1 p.m. one day asking me if I could leave for North Carolina the next morning at 6 a.m. for a funeral," said Bishop. "I was prepared to call them back in 30 minutes with an answer. It is so important to have a circle of family or friends that you can call upon.”

Family Time is Quality Time
Bishop has made sure that the time she spends with her son counts. She has found that their activities not only provide them good quality time, they also help keep her physically fit. "We used to do karate together," said Bishop. "Now we both play indoor soccer. Yesterday, I went on a run and he came with me on his bike. We both love biking. My son has a dirt bike and, last year, I went to California twice to compete in bike/run/kayak competitions. My son goes to the Skate Park and I watch him…we're pretty close," she adds with a big smile.  On the job, off the job - Bishop values both families.

Update
Since her last update in 2000, a lot has changed for Peggy Bishop.  She has had two more boys.  During her pregnancy in 2003, she worked in plain clothes during the legislative session.  After her son was born she returned to work as a field training officer for recruits.  She also performed background investigations for perspective recruits.
 
In February of 2008, Bishop was temporarily assigned as a recruiter to help with the hiring of the 139 troopers. This was about the same time that the www.OSPTROOPER.COM website was launched. Her temporary assignment in recruiting ended the end of May, 2008, and she is currently assigned to the Salem office on as a member of the motor unit.