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Ogden police officer becomes first woman on city's SWAT team

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 20:36:01-04

OGDEN, Utah — Once she learned that there's never been a woman on Ogden's SWAT team, she knew it was game on.

"It’s absolutely brutal, like nothing I've ever been through in my life," said Jenna Robins, who is one of the few women in the entire state to join a SWAT team, despite administrators telling her it couldn't be done.

Robins had always heard that women "don't have the strength needed to get the job."

She never dreamed she'd be where she is now after getting pregnant in high school — something that "changed her life completely."

She and the child's father married and added a second child to their family — Mark, now six years old, who joined Myah, age 10 — but they divorced after moving out of state, and she decided to return to raise her family in Utah.

Robins says she didn't want her child to go through the same struggle that she experienced, as part of her driving force is to raise her children to be successful people.

That drive motivated her to become the first woman to be part of the Ogden Metro SWAT team.

"Everything you do is in a 45-pound vest, so I would wake up at 3 in the morning and go on a 3-4 mile run with [the vest] on, and then go to work all day, and then I’d go lift weights in the afternoon, and then I’d go home and be a mom, do dishes, read, do homework and get about 3-4 hours of sleep and get up and do it again," Robins said.

She was required to pass tests such as bench pressing her own weight and jumping a 6-foot wall to qualify for this new assignment. But she gained something else as well: A new partner in life and now parent to Myah and Mark who she met at the academy. They are now partners on the SWAT team.

Robins hopes other women will be encouraged to work toward becoming SWAT team members; in 2002, Lieutenant Robin Heiden became the first female SWAT officer for Salt Lake City Police. Officer Linrada Chacon joined the Unified Police Department in 2010, and Nisha Henderson joined the Provo Police Department SWAT team in 2015.

Robins works in the special victims' unit as a detective working on cases involving children, and she serves as a role model to her own as well.