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Behind the Badge: From Police Wife to Entrepreneurial Success

Meet Vikki Downey, a dynamic figure who has spent three decades immersed in the world of a police wife. Supporting her husband John’s career in the Los Angeles Police Department, she’s not only navigated the intricate complexities of police family life but also forged her own path as a mentor and entrepreneur. Motivated by a deep-seated desire to provide support and empowerment, Vikki made the bold decision to retire early from teaching, dedicating herself to her family and assisting fellow police spouses in finding balance through entrepreneurship, ultimately alleviating the need for officers to seek extra income through off-duty work.

Can you share a bit about your journey as a police wife for three decades and how it has influenced your path as an author, educator, and entrepreneur?

My three-decade journey as a police wife has infused every aspect of my life, shaping me into the author, educator, and entrepreneur I am today. Through the highs and lows of supporting my husband in law enforcement, I’ve learned resilience, empathy, and the importance of community. This firsthand experience has provided me with a unique perspective to share in my writing, teaching, and business endeavours, allowing me to connect with others on a deeply personal level while empowering them to navigate their own paths with confidence and resilience.

What inspired you to transition from teaching to focusing on supporting other police spouses through entrepreneurship?

I embarked on my teaching career while raising our young children, but soon discovered that after factoring in childcare expenses, commuting costs, and other associated expenses, my take-home pay was minimal. Realizing that I was essentially working to cover these expenses with little left over, I made the bold decision to pursue entrepreneurship. This move not only replaced my teaching income but also afforded me the flexibility to retire early. It was a transformative experience, and it dawned on me that if I could achieve this, I could empower fellow police wives and women in similar situations to do the same.

Could you elaborate on the complexities of police family life that you’ve encountered and how they have shaped your perspective?

The complexities of police family life are profound and often daunting. Daily, we confront the stark reality that our loved ones, who bravely serve in law enforcement, face danger as part of their duty. The statistics loom large: the number of officers killed in the line of duty, the uncertainties of each shift, and the haunting possibility that our spouses may not return home. This constant awareness infuses every moment with a sense of gravity and urgency. These challenges are further compounded by the unpredictability of shift work and the toll it takes on family dynamics. Yet, amidst the uncertainty, we find strength and resilience. We cherish every moment together, knowing it could be our last. These experiences have profoundly shaped my perspective, instilling in me a deep sense of empathy, resilience, and gratitude for the support of our law enforcement community.

What inspired you to write your first book specifically for first responders, military wives, and their families?

A pivotal moment in 2020, when the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and an alarming surge in animosity towards law enforcement officers, motivated me to write my debut book, aimed at first responders and military wives and families.” As the “Defund the Police” movement gained traction, the rhetoric against police officers intensified, leading to a distressing rise in violence against them. Witnessing the unjust vilification of police officers on social media platforms, even by individuals I considered friends, fueled a fire within me. It became abundantly clear that remaining silent was no longer an option. Inspired by fellow police wives who bravely began speaking out about the virtues of their husbands, I resolved to add my voice to the conversation. After three decades of feeling isolated and misunderstood, I recognised the need for solidarity and support within the law enforcement community, including those who served in the military and then transitioned to law enforcement. Many ex-military individuals become police or law enforcement officers, leading lives very similar to those of police families. I knew I couldn’t be the only one yearning for understanding and connection. Thus, I embarked on the journey of writing my book, determined to serve as a beacon of hope and encouragement for other police wives and military families who may have felt as alone as I once did.

In what ways does your book serve as a source of practical advice, encouragement, and community for those who share similar life experiences?

My book serves as a comprehensive guide brimming with practical advice, heartfelt encouragement, and a sense of unwavering community for those who share similar life experiences. Readers gain the necessary tools to navigate the unique challenges of being a police spouse or part of a first responder family through personal anecdotes, actionable tips, and empathetic insights. Beyond just offering advice, my book fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie, reassuring readers that they are not alone in their journey. It’s a beacon of hope, a source of strength, and a reminder that together, we can overcome any obstacle.

How do you believe entrepreneurship can help police spouses balance life’s challenges and reduce the need for officers to engage in extra overtime ‘off duty’ gigs?

I am a living, breathing example of how entrepreneurship can transform the lives of police spouses and families. Making the leap back into entrepreneurship while still working as a teacher (we had previously owned a business before my husband became a police officer), I witnessed firsthand the incredible potential it held. Not only did I replace my teaching income, but I also surpassed it, demonstrating the financial opportunities it offers. Through my business ventures, I was able to buy back my husband’s time, allowing him to be home more and reducing the need for him to engage in extra overtime gigs. Ultimately, the income from entrepreneurship allowed my husband to retire from the Los Angeles Police Department nine years ahead of schedule. This journey underscores the transformative power of entrepreneurship in balancing life’s challenges and providing financial stability for police families.

Can you share a story or experience that exemplifies resilience and adaptation in the face of the unique challenges police families encounter?

My husband’s unexpected mandatory overnight shift during a major holiday celebration is one particular story that comes to mind. Despite our initial disappointment, we rallied together as a family, determined to make the most of the situation. Using whatever ingredients we had on hand, we prepared a festive meal and improvised our own celebration. We found comfort in each other’s company, laughing, sharing stories, and cherishing the time we had together. This experience taught us the importance of resilience and adaptation in the face of adversity. “While the challenges of police life are often unpredictable and demanding, moments like these remind us of the strength we possess as a family and our ability to find joy even in the most unexpected circumstances.

As a mentor and businesswoman, what role do you see yourself playing in uplifting and uniting the police spouse community?

As both a mentor and a businesswoman, I am a catalyst for positive change within the police spouse community.” I already mentor fellow police, ex-military, and law enforcement wives and couples in their businesses. Through my experiences in entrepreneurship and personal development, I strive to inspire and uplift these fellow spouses and couples, guiding them towards realizing their full potential and achieving their goals. Whether through one-on-one mentorship, educational resources, or community-building initiatives, I am committed to providing the support and encouragement needed for individuals to thrive in both their personal and professional lives. Together, we can foster a culture of empowerment, unity, and resilience within the police spouse community, creating a brighter and more fulfilling future for us all.

How do you balance your personal and professional lives while navigating the demands of supporting your husband’s career and raising two young children?

Balancing my personal and professional life while supporting my husband’s career and raising two young children is a priority that requires careful planning and flexibility. First and foremost, family always comes first in our household. We share calendars, including the kids’ school and sports schedules, to ensure that we prioritize attending their events. Then, we focus on scheduling business appointments around these commitments. I have a deep passion for eCommerce businesses that operate remotely. With the flexibility to work from anywhere, whether it’s the football field or the kitchen table, I’m able to seamlessly integrate my professional responsibilities with my family life. This approach enables me to prioritize both my family and business, without compromising any aspect of my life.

Looking ahead, what are your future aspirations for your work in supporting and empowering police spouses and families?

My aspirations for the future of my work in supporting and empowering police spouses and families stem from a clear vision: to mentor and uplift those within our community to achieve financial independence and more time freedom.” Over the next 12 months, my goal is to mentor 10 police, law enforcement, and military wives, guiding them to create a 6-figure income with their business alongside their existing commitments, whether they work full-time, part-time, or are stay-at-home moms. Additionally, I aim to help 20 of them achieve a car bonus, providing significant financial relief by removing one substantial payment from their budget. By empowering individuals to build successful businesses while navigating the demands of their everyday lives, I’m committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of police spouses and families, ensuring they thrive both personally and professionally.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, it’s titled “Your Amazing Itty Bitty Police Wife Survival Guide.” You can find it for sale at

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