Being female in a predominantly male profession is something Erin Carcia has navigated her entire career. A graduate of Northeastern University, Carcia landed her first full-time position as a dispatcher there, where she met and worked with current Babson Chief of Police James Pollard. Carcia began working in Babson’s Public Safety Department in 2011 as an assistant director administrative lieutenant before being elevated to associate in 2016. Two years later, Carcia was promoted to deputy chief of police and director of emergency management. Now, she is front and center, leading the campus response to a global health crisis.
What specific challenges have you and your department had to handle during the pandemic, and how have you solved them?
“Public Safety has been on campus throughout the pandemic 24/7, as we have had to balance team members’ health and family needs while providing the same level of support and services on campus. We worked with our Public Safety team members to divide shifts into different teams and work 12-hour shifts instead of eight in order to not have the same Public Safety members working with each and limit exposure so our essential units would remain fully staffed.
“As an essential department to our community, we needed to think outside the box in that we are providing the same support and services to our community but conducting business differently for the health and safety of all. We had two department meetings this summer as well as a workshop with our residence education and student affairs on-call teams to address or modify operational responses, policies, and procedures, including additional protective equipment for our team and community members, utilize additional technology, and modify department vehicles to assist with safer transport for community members.”
Now that people are back on campus, what are your focal points for working to safeguard students, faculty, and staff under these unique circumstances?
“Public Safety is regularly initiating educational conversations regarding proper mask wearing and social distancing within our community as behaviors and accountability are some of the most important aspects for our success this semester. As the Babson community has returned to campus, we have had to shift a lot of our focus on educating and enforcing the local community and visitor restrictions to campus in order to mitigate those coming and going onto our grounds.”
“The Babson community has truly demonstrated what team and compassion mean.”
Erin Carcia, deputy police chief and director of emergency management
How has the Babson community rallied together, or helped support the public safety team, during the crisis this year?
“The Babson community has truly demonstrated what team and compassion mean. Many members of the department have received compliments via email and in person, branded face masks, and invitations with community members so our students are seeing we truly are partners invested in their health, safety, and success at Babson. The willingness to innovate and problem solve has been so overwhelming, especially with Facilities and ITSD (Information Technology Services Department) in safeguarding operational modifications either in the physical Public Safety building or in a college vehicle. They have worked closely with us to test different approaches.”
You’ve said you enjoy being a role model as a female in a male-dominated profession. How have you succeeded, and what advice do you have for girls and women who might want to follow in your footsteps and enter professions like that?
“I have not focused a lot of my time or energy on gender and how it relates to success in my line of work, but at the same time there have been challenges presented that I did not allow to define who I was or the police officer I wanted to be. Instead, I used these challenges and situations as a motivator and learning opportunity for others. It is important for females to see they can be successful in this field of work, but more importantly they bring many qualities and skill sets that can benefit everyone. This past spring, I was elected as the vice president of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement, which is very exciting as I look forward to developing training opportunities and networking for women in this field of work, as well as continuing one of my favorite things to do in mentoring and coaching.”
Two More for Erin Carcia
What does Babson mean to you?
“Babson represents a sense of team and transformation. When I joined Babson in 2011, I quickly learned what the word innovation meant, and realized it could be integrated into the world of Public Safety. I fully embraced the concept of partnership and problem solving and, of course, adapting and trying again.”
Right now, what are you …
- Reading? “Unfortunately, I have not done any personal reading lately but focusing on helping my three daughters under the age of 9 do school work.”
- Watching? “During the pandemic, I have watched many of the old Disney movies with my family at night to unwind and went to a drive-in movie for the first time in over 20 years.”
- Listening to? “Country music is my favorite.”
- Doing in your free time? “Getting outside with my family and going hiking and spending time at the beach.”
Posted in Campus & Community