For Jolisa Colman, protecting the community runs in her family. Growing up, Colman’s mother served as a reserve officer for Cerro Gordo County, and her father worked as a motor vehicle enforcement officer for the Department of Transportation. Even her brother works as a deputy for Anderson County, Texas. When Colman took a career quiz in high school, it came as no surprise that she would do well in a law enforcement career.
After studying at Iowa Lakes Community College and Hawkeye Community College, Colman began working part time for the Hudson Police Department. When she felt ready for a full time job, she applied to several departments and accepted a position with the Muscatine Police Department in 2013.
Ever since, Colman has enjoyed her work. She values the positive relationships she has with her coworkers and the variety of people she interacts with daily. Colman has also loved the opportunity to get involved with many activities in Muscatine, including kayaking on the river, hiking at Wildcat Den, and running on the city’s trails. Colman described Muscatine as, “it’s not too small and it’s not too big–it’s just right.”
May 7, Colman received the Muscatine Police Department’s Medal of Valor, making her only the third recipient of the award. On Feb. 22, Colman responded to a report of a woman walking near the edge of the Norbert F. Becky Bridge. The first one on the scene, Colman found the woman sitting on the edge of the bridge shouting she would jump. As the woman pushed herself forward, Colman reached towards her. “I ended up grabbing her shirt and arm,” she recalls. “I was actually leaning over the edge and my feet were barely on the ground.”
Colman guided the woman onto a lower support beam on the bridge before safely letting go. A trained crisis negotiator, Colman, along with on-call negotiator officer Angela Shoultz spoke to the woman, and eventually convinced her to allow them to pull her to safety and get her help.
Upon receiving the Medal of Valor, Colman felt shocked and awed. “It’s a surprise and I’m very honored,” she said.