Today's Women of the Inspection Service
Women have long played support roles with the Postal Inspection Service, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the first female was appointed a Postal Inspector. Coincidently, that year was when the Security Force was established – and included women in the first class. Today, women from all backgrounds can be found in every position at the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Postal Inspector/Team Leader and Public Information Officer - Miami Division
Blanca Alvarez has been with the Inspection Service for 15 years. In her position, she manages a team of Inspectors and contractors who conduct security assessments and investigate mail fraud and revenue fraud.
Inspector Alvarez has a Bachelor's degree in Business Education and a Master's in Criminal Justice. She began her career as a Middle School computer teacher. When she left to pursue a career with the Inspection Service, she quickly fell in to a mentorship role.
Inspector Alvarez still meets with students at her identical twin's school in Florida during career days, where students are always excited to learn more about law enforcement from her.
While Inspector Alvarez had an easy adjustment as a woman in her role, her parents saw an issue with women being in law enforcement. Ultimately, her parents saw the joy her role gave her. Alvarez's oldest daughters is now following in her footsteps.
Postal Inspector in Charge - Pittsburgh Division
Lesley Allison has been with the Inspection Service for nearly 20 years. In 1999, she earned a Bachelor’s in Administration of Justice, minoring in Sociology, from Penn State. She began her law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff in North Carolina. She was appointed a Postal Inspector in 2003, Inspector Allison began in Cleveland, OH working with Internal and External Crimes.
In 2011, Inspector Allison was promoted to Dangerous Mail Investigations (DMI) Program Manager at National Headquarters in Washington D.C. She was then promoted to Assistant Inspector in Charge in Denver in 2016, and Inspector in Charge in 2018. During her time as INC, Lesley Allison served as the first liaison within the FBI Mass Destruction Directorate within the DMI Program.
As a woman in her role, Allison said it is important to take note of “those who support you, rather than those who don’t”.
Assistant Laboratory Director
Ms. Elliott has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Forensic Science. Her role as an Assistant Laboratory Director is to oversee the Forensic Document Examiners, Photographers, and Video Forensic Analysts. She ensures the casework is assigned and completed in a timely fashion.
Haley Elliott has been with the Inspection Service for 16 years. She is the Assistant Laboratory Director of the Questioned Documents and Imaging Unit. During her time with the Inspection Service, Ms. Elliott has had the opportunity to work on many interesting projects including numerous handwriting and fraud cases, supplying forensic evidence to inspectors’ investigations.
As a woman, Ms. Elliott states she has had multiple women in leadership roles pave the way for her position, making her proud to be able to follow in their footsteps.
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Chief Postal Inspector
Tamara Paris has been with the Postal Inspection Service for 11 years. Her position supports the Chief Inspector, Gary Barksdale, and Special Assistant, Dominique Giroux.
Ms. Paris originally began her career as a Letter Carrier in Colorado. She joined the Inspection Service as an Inspection Service Operations Technician (ISOT) in the Denver Division Headquarters.
Ms. Paris has been fortunate to work in a position that has allows her to travel with the Chief Inspector and other executives. In 2022, she coordinated the first Administrative Assistant Training Summit.
Captain – Postal Police Training Coordinator
Nicole Fisher has been with the Inspection Service for over 10 years. She coordinates training for the Postal Police and manages all Postal Police Office Basic Training.
Captain Fisher has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Master’s in Homeland Security. When learning about roles in the Postal Inspection Service, age prevented her from becoming an inspector, but as she learned more about PPOs, she pursued that route instead.
Being a woman in a supervisory law enforcement role has proven to be challenging. Captain Fisher states it is often hard to gain respect from male colleagues. However, she never lets this affect her work, and continues to learn to be the best she can in her positions.
HISTORY SPOTLIGHT HOMEPAGE
Explore the history of the United States Postal Inspection Service.Learn More