OREM, Utah (ABC4 News) When it comes to police work – it’s in her blood. Four family members work in law enforcement and now Officer Kara Hancock makes it five.
In this weeks Behind the Badge report, we learn more about her journey and why she loves to police work.
Her job is to patrol the streets of Orem. But for Officer Kara Hancock it means much more.
“I like the idea that I’m out there protecting my family, by protecting just in general. If I’m out here busting my butt keeping things on the straight and narrow that is going to affect my family too. That is going to affect my kids. That is going to affect everybody that I love.”
And the 36-year-old rookie says its been a long road to make it to this moment.
“It’s something I always wanted to do, but at the same time my husband had a full-time job, I felt like I needed to be home with the kids and raise them. So, as soon as they were old enough that I could justify both parents having full-time jobs – I went for it.”
But it didn’t start with Orem PD. Hancock first served as a corrections officer for three years. Where she learned a lot of lessons.
“I’m always playing the ‘what if game’ in my mind. There’s just a lot of volatile situations that you have to do that.”
But her goal was to be a police officer – and a few months ago – that dream became a reality.
“I love what I do – because one, I am an adrenaline junkie and in this job there is always something that gets that going. Always. When you’re driving to a call that unknown is – I really like it….I love interacting with the public on both the positive and the negative – I get a lot from both.”
I asked her about her first stop or first call – she says even though it wasn’t that long ago – she was so nervous she can’t remember.
“I just remember thinking don’t screw this up, Hancock. Ha.Ha. Because this is the rest of your career – this is your first day. Don’t screw it up.”
And she says she was prepared for this job because so many family members are in law enforcement.
“It was easy for me – I had good examples. My dad. My brother. My husband.”
Plus, a sister who is a dispatcher and another brother who served in the military. “There’s a certain mental toughness that you have to have because you are going to see things that regular people don’t see and they’ll never see.”
Officer Hancock may be new to the force, but she’s already had some intense moments arresting suspects.
“He just flips out and went to stand up towards the other officer, so I grabbed him by the back of the neck and pushed him down to the ground and laid my body on top of him. And held his head while they did his arms and legs.”
Those types of moments are not frequent, but the way Officer Hancock sees it – arresting dangerous people is what serving and protecting is all about.
“I love being somebody that people can rely on. I love being there to make sure people are safe.”
Officer Hancock shared a few more stories with me – to hear one that involves an irate suspect, a taser and a takedown check out the WEB EXTRA video. The setup – a domestic violence call. Officer Hancock was there alone and trying to keep a woman from going back in the house to continue a fight. Officer Hancock explains what happened when the woman wouldn’t cooperate and started fighting her.
And feel free to nominate an officer or first responder for a future Behind the Badge story at https://www.abc4.com/badge