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Officer-In-Training Carrie Kane: Changing Perceptions

March 23, 2009



Carrie Kane, police officer-in-training, University Police Department

Officer-in-training Carrie Kane is following in her father's footsteps, so she can provide a positive influence to the community and help people the same way he has. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

University Police Department (UPD) recruit Carrie Kane sees a similarity between "good Samaritans" and police officers. It's what made her want to become one.

"I know when some people picture police officers, especially young people, they imagine people who give speeding tickets," said Kane, 29, of Albany. "But I've never seen them in the same light. Being a police officer is the closest way of helping people in distressing situations."

She also hopes she can change any misperceptions and stereotypes about police officers that students may have. Hopefully, she said, they will see them more as she does -- as good Samaritans.

"Carrie already understands the 'realí nature of policing as the helping profession it is," said UPD Chief J. Frank Wiley. "She is determined and focused. She has excellent people skills; excellent analytical skills, and a steady and even temperament. She will be magnificent."

Kane can attest first-hand to the positive influence of police officers. Her father, Mark, spent more than 30 years as a City of Buffalo police officer. Part of her motivation is to follow in his footsteps, she said, and to help people the same way he has.

After testing well on state police exams, Kane received letters from colleges and universities, offering her employment and training opportunities. Kane chose UPD and is attending the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Training Center in Schenectady to become an officer.

While she describes the training as physical and intense, she enjoys learning about vehicle, traffic and penal laws, emergency vehicle operations, firearms and tasers. She will graduate in July, and become the seventh woman among the ranks of UPD -- the most ever in its history at one time.

"I'm just excited to get on the force," said Kane with a light chuckle. "But as the newest member, I look toward a bright future, regardless of that number, and hope I will represent UPD well."

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Istvan Kecskes
UAlbany Faculty

For UAlbany linguist and teacher Istvan Kecskes, the world is his classroom.

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