Paula Sophia – Identity and Community Policing

Paula Sophia Photo by Brett DickersonEpisode 8

I first met Paula Sophia when she was a police officer riding a bike patrol in the Bricktown entertainment district in downtown Oklahoma City.

She and her partner frequented the same coffee shop that I did where she was engaging and friendly to anyone she met. The close contact of a bike patrol suited her style of policing very well.

Since then, she has retired from the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Paula is now working on a Masters in Social Work Degree at the University of Oklahoma while working as a teaching assistant there and working for Rose State and Oklahoma City Community Colleges as an adjunct English Composition teacher.

In this episode we talk about her experiences as a police officer, which were quite unique.

There are many women in the Oklahoma City Police Department now, but what is unique about Paula’s story is that she spent the first half of her career identified as the male officer, Paul Schonauer, and then the last half with her new identity as Paula Sophia.

She developed some important deeper insights of community policing and sees some big differences in what kind of policing works for male officers compared to female officers, which we discuss here in depth.