Profiling Police: Sgt. Nikki Ensor patrols Westminster on the midnight shift

Sgt. Nikki Ensor talks about the childhood inspiration behind her career in police work.

Sgt. Nikki Ensor patrols Westminster on the midnight shift, seeing the city during the hours when the general public is mostly at home or asleep.

Ensor, a nine-year member of the force, said she prefers these shifts that run from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. because they let her spend the daytime hours with her children. “It’s the closest thing to being a stay-at-home mom that I can possibly be,” she said.


Out of the academy, she started her career in law enforcement in the Southwest District of Baltimore City, where she worked for 11 years.

“I saw a lot of things,” she said. “I think having that and coming here helps me to be able to solve problems.”

As a sergeant in the Field Services Bureau, her position is one that involves both supervisory work and active patrol in the community. As she noted, “A lot of people thought it would be easier [in Westminster],’re wearing more hats than you would be in Baltimore City.”

The Carroll County Times spoke with Ensor about her duties with the Westminster Police Department, her atypical workday and the “scariest and proudest moment” of her career.

Q: Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?

A: I saw an episode of “CHiPs” when I was a little girl and from that moment I wanted to be a police officer.

Q: What have been some of the best parts of the job?

A: There have been many good parts, the feeling of helping people, being active in your community, meeting great people.

Q: The most challenging?

A: Repeat offenders and calls for service. There are so many resources available within this community and when you see someone who could benefit from those resources and they just won’t make an effort to get it can be frustrating.

Q: What is one thing you want people to know about being an officer?

A: That every single day an officer is exposed to some type of traumatic experience. Whether it’s a suicide, fatal accident, domestic violence, call for service, etc. An officer sees many people in the community at their worst and that takes a toll on a person. A police officer is a person just like everyone else and they tend to carry other people’s burdens.

Q: What is your favorite part about being an officer?

A: The satisfaction that comes from helping someone. It means a lot to know you really made a difference for someone or their family.


Q: What is a typical work day like for you?

A: A typical work day really doesn’t exist in my line of work. Everyday has a new set of challenges. As a supervisor, I am tasked with administrative duties but on most days I’m patrolling a sector or beat.

Q: What is one moment on the job you’ll never forget?

A: About two to three years ago, there was a vehicle pursuit involving several jurisdictions along Md. 140 and Market Street. When the pursuit ended, several officers including myself were able to get the driver out of the vehicle. Immediately we observed that the driver had sustained a self-inflicted life-threatening injury to his neck and was bleeding profusely. We immediately placed the driver on his side and I, kneeling behind him, placed my hand inside his neck and pinched his artery to slow the bleeding down. Now to give you a little perspective, it was winter time and the coldest day of the year with a temperature of minus-5 degrees that night. It was so cold that his blood was freezing on the pavement. It seemed like forever that I sat there in the middle of Route 140, wind whipping and me shivering along with other officers waiting for medics to arrive. I did my best to keep him alive. I’m proud to say that he survived after being airlifted to Shock Trauma. That was the scariest and proudest moment of my career.

Q: What is an embarrassing story or fact you are willing to share about yourself?

A: I honestly really don’t have one, but I like to have fun with my squad members and I’ve been known to make them dress up for holidays (Valentine’s Day, birthdays, etc.).

Q: When you are out of uniform, what do you like to do?

A: I’m a homebody really, but I do like to hang out with friends and family. So I’m more inclined to go to a bbq at a friend’s home than a bar or public place.

Q: What was the last movie you watched?

“The Princess and the Frog.”

Q: What is something you like to talk about outside of work?

A: My kids and their sports.