Captain III Michelle Veenstra was born in Indiana; however, she has spent the majority of her life in the San Fernando Valley (SFV), where she currently resides.
In 1982, she joined the police department at the age of 21 years old. She started her career in patrol at Wilshire Division, where she would return and be promoted to training officer (FTO) and subsequently, Senior Lead Officer.
In the span of her twenty-five years on the department, she has worked a variety of assignments, which include patrol, investigations, and administrative positions. In 1994, she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. As a sergeant, she supervised the Van Nuys Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums unit (CRASH), Van Nuys Special Problem Unit (SPU), and Van Nuys VICE. Captain Veenstra’s last assignment as a field supervisor was as a Sergeant II in the City’s elite Metropolitan Division.
As for her investigative experience, she worked as a detective trainee at Central Detectives and as a detective in Juvenile Narcotics. Her administrative assignments included working as a Commanders Aide.
In 2000, she was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and sent to 77th Street patrol as a Watch Commander. She then was promoted to Commanding Officer of the West Los Angeles Detectives Division. After two years, Captain Veenstra was placed in charge of the police litigation section of Risk Management Group. Prior to being promoted to Captain, she did a two year stint as the OIC of Administrative Investigative Section/Central, Internal Affairs Division.
In 2006, she achieved her BA in Organization Management from The Master’s College, where she graduated with honors. In the beginning of 2007, she started a masters program in the field of Organizational Leadership. Captain Veenstra is an avid fitness and outdoors enthusiast and has been recognized for her athletic abilities in supporting LAPD physical fitness programs.