Police Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
After spending years as a Social Worker - working with homeless teenagers, in prisons, and for the emergency department - LB pursued her passion and became a Police Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to patrolling the streets, she is an Academy Instructor - teaching Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness - and part of the Critical Incident Team - responding to line of duty incidents.
LIR: So! Law Enforcement! How and why?
LB: I got my Master's Degree in Social Work and did that for a bunch of years. I worked with homeless teenagers, worked at two different prisons, and as a social worker for the emergency department. I like fast-paced settings, interacting with people, and working outdoors. Now I am essentially a social worker with a gun.
LIR: Haha, good point. That's awesome.
LB: It is. I get to help people in intense situations, validate people's feelings, share advice, and arrest bad guys. In addition to working patrol, I am an Academy Instructor. I get to put my two passions of being a police officer and social worker together to teach Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness. I am also part of the Critical Incident Team for Boston - responding to line of duty deaths, suicides, injury or death of child, mass causality incidents, etc. I love it. I don't see myself doing anything else for a career.
LIR: It's always great when you truly love what you're doing. How have you faced your fears in order to create your success?
LB: I knew the police academy would be difficult - physically, mentally, and emotionally. It was definitely the hardest thing that I have done. I had to run a half marathon with my police platoon for police officers that were killed in the line of duty, which I had some initial anxiety about, but it ended up being a big accomplishment. I look back now and understand what all the screaming, pushups, standing in formation, and constant discipline for 6 grueling months was for.
LIR: I bet! What challenges have you faced being a woman in your field?
LB: I wouldn't say there are any huge differences. I work with mostly guys and I love it. We have a great relationship and I basically have a ton of big brothers who would do pretty much anything for me. We work well as a team, and at this point, know each other's strengths and where we can assist each other. It's an amazing family to be a part of.
LIR: That's really great to hear. What about when you find yourself stuck in a rut, either personally or professionally, what do you do?
LB: Work out. Talk to my friends. Think about why I choose to do what I do in the first place and what I can do to push myself to where I want to be. I think about my professional goals, and how I can work towards them.
LIR: That's good advice. So what inspires you? Who are your mentors, and do you consider yourself one?
LB: People who work hard for what they want. Seeing the good in people. As for mentors, lots - my dad, one of my Sergeants, one of my drill instructors, and a variety of other people I know in the field. I try to be a good role model. There are times I fail, but I think overall I do a decent job.
LIR: What are three things that you want to pass on to the next generation?
LB: Don't be a dick. Respect all people regardless of your initial interaction, because in this job, I see people in crisis which is typically not their best. Treat people how you want to be treated, and always have empathy. Do your best to serve others and put other people first.
LIR: Definitely. Those are great. What would you say is the best advice you've received, and who did it come from?
LB: One of my drill instructors once said, "Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do."
LIR: That's perfect. And lastly, what are three things you never leave home without?
LB: Work knife, water, and sunglasses