I was 19 years old when I started my career as a police dispatcher and where I fell in love with law enforcement. In 1997, I was within the age requirement to enroll in the 76Th Basic Peace Officer’s Academy at Tarrant County College.
After graduation, I began my career in 1998 as a patrol police officer with Westworth Village Police Department, located west of downtown Fort Worth, TX. While at Westworth Village Police Department, I was given the opportunity to acquire and exercise the fundamental skills needed to be a well diverse officer and opportunity to promote to Corporal. During my tenure with Westworth Village Police, I was given the “additional assigned task” to promote the Neighborhood Watch program. I am thankful I received that task, because my eyes were opened to what Community-Oriented Policing really was.
In 2004, I was hired by Saginaw Police Department, located north of Fort Worth, TX. While serving with Saginaw Police, I was afforded the opportunity to work in several positions within the department. I served as a patrol officer, before given the opportunity to serve as the Police Department’s Community Services Officer and Evidence Custodian. I developed and coordinated community efforts in building Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the city while at the same time learning the responsibilities of the Department’s Property and Evidence Custodian. I learned during this time in my career, to be detailed oriented, take advantage of training, and view challenges as learning opportunities. I attended a Basic Hostage Negotiations training hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators (TAHN). Upon completion, I served as a member and coordinated training for the Police Department’s Crisis Negations Team. My time and experiences gained while I was with Saginaw Police Department was a treasure with many rewards. The departments’ motto “Excellence in Policing” will forever be engrained in my actions as a law enforcement officer.
In 2010, I relocated to the Texas Hill Country area and with the support of my husband and family, I began my career in 2012 with the University of Texas System Police and UT San Antonio. I was assigned to 3rd shift patrol and I attended the 3rd UT System Police Lateral Academy. In early 2014, I interviewed and was selected to be assigned to the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit. I served as a Crime Prevention Officer and Crime Victim Liaison. I received the UTSA Business Affair “Celebrating Excellence Award” in 2014. In June of this year, I was promoted to Corporal and continue to serve in the Crime Prevention Unit. Over the past year, I have learned more about the importance of victim interviewing and about the resources available for victims of violent crimes. I encourage law enforcement officers to develop victim-centered approaches while conducting interviews with victims of violent crimes. Resources such as brochures, online training, webinars, training conferences and courses are provided by county, state, and federal entities to assist with developing these skills.
Building lines of communications with the community and networking with others is a much needed valuable resource in policing. I continue to learn more about resources available by serving as an active member of the Alamo Area Crime Prevention Association (AACPA), San Antonio area TX DoT Traffic Jam Coalition Committee, UTSA Staff Council Committee, and Bexar County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).
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