We think Sandra Aguilera is a star. You might, too. Yes, her business is named S.T.A.R. Concepts. She teaches self-defense, anti-bullying, online protection, and safe driving to women and girls. We love all that. But at Lightning Strike, Sandra’s star shines brightly for even more reasons.
She’s a good woman. We know her as a friend and member of the Gilbert, Arizona community where our company is based. She also shares our passion for promoting motorcycle safety.
30-plus years riding motorcycles proves Sandra’s love for two wheels. Plenty of those years, she rode as a trailblazer. Sandra Aguilera was the first female officer and Sergeant in the Arizona Highway Patrol.
She gratefully raves about the excellent motorcycle training safety she got with the department. The extensive knowledge still rides with her, every time she hits the road on two or four wheels.
Being one of the early female motor officers sounds cool. Yet, one needs to take a moment and a closer look to realize the reality. Sandra’s cool accomplishment was also a courageous, impressive, and uphill ride.
She humbly takes the high road in reflecting on her three decades in law enforcement. But we know the challenges of a woman who not only broke into the ranks of riding in an elite motorcycle unit. She also became a member of the Phoenix area’s early SWAT team (Special Weapons and Tactics).
The First Female Motor Officers: Un-Easy Riders
Women have many opportunities in 2018. It’s still not enough, but many more than a few decades ago. Ask someone old enough to remember. Most early female police officers were relegated to office jobs. The rare ones in the field carried guns and handcuffs…in their purses. Equality? Equal opportunity? Not so fast.
In the 1970’s females began being seen as “real police officers.” Back then, only 1 in 50 U.S. police officers were women. Today, it is less than 1 in 5. You also don’t need to be a historian to know 40 years ago there was a fraction of the female motorcycle riders there are today.
These facts add visibility to Sandra Aguilera rising to become the first female officer in the Arizona Highway Patrol. The road to respect and acceptance wasn’t paved for her. It had unique bumps, twists, and turns.
Sandra Aguilera had to do more to prove she make it. She also had to prove she could “take it.” Often she was completely on her own. There was no backup even remotely close. Sandra earned every step up she got with the Thin Blue Line. She earned every single mile she rode for the Arizona Highway Patrol.
Lightning Strike proudly included Sandra Aguilera in a video we recently produced for our revamped website. We feel blessed she believes in our motorcycle safety lighting systems. In this video, we feature some motorcycle safety tips and riding insights from this true Arizona motorcycle maven.