(This Alumni Profile was taken from the Fall/Winter 2016 Saint Michael’s College Magazine)
Leading by example was an integral part of being a police officer.
“Saint Michael’s was one of the best experiences of my life,” says Kathy Stubbing, an investigator for the State of Vermont with the Division of Licensing and Protection. After 24 years with the Burlington Police Department, Stubbing retired three years ago. In her current position she investigates reports alleging abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.
Stubbing made a core group of close friends in her college years. She was an English major and fondly remembers classes with Professor Carey Kaplan. She was also a member of the Purple Knights Women’s Basketball team and has great respect and admiration for Coach Sue Duprat. The priests at St. Mike’s were instrumental in the growth of her faith. Experiences at St. Mike’s provided the foundation that prepared her for life after college; for becoming a police officer and a leader in her community.
After graduation, Stubbing wanted to find a profession in which she could help people and make a difference. She found her niche helping people as a police officer with the Burlington Police Department in Vermont. Stubbing knew, after making her first physical arrest, that she could de-escalate a heated scenario. After the arrest, she says, you have to be able to explain why you did what you did. This is where her writing skills became very important. Effective communication is a critical skill in law enforcement. Officers must be able to speak with members of the public as well as document events. St. Mike’s helped Stubbing develop and fine-tune both of these skills.
Stubbing held many positions within the department and learned that leadership, especially leading by example, was an integral part of being a police officer. This included leadership within the department as well as in the community. She often found herself in the role of mentor for female officers. Sometimes the issues they needed help with were simple: how to make the duty belt, with all its attachments, fit a female body. Sometimes, they were not so simple: how to physically stop someone twice your size. All had confidence-boosting or -busting potential.
“When you show up on a scene, all eyes are on you,” she says. Stubbing explains that police officers often have to take charge of situations, resolve conflicts, and manage crises. “Being a police officer can take a toll on you. My faith helped me to always remember that everyone I encountered was a child of God, no matter the circumstances.”