Nationality

United States

Education

Certificate, Security Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, United States

Languages

English, Spanish

My day-to-day routine is unlike most employees here at the United Nations. I wake up in my New York apartment; my co-worker greets me first thing with a “hello” as well as the things that need to be done before we start the day. We prepare for the day by eating breakfast, going for a walk along the streets, taking in the sights of New York City and getting ready for the eight-hour security shift ahead. My co-worker is much more than that…he is a partner, a Black Labrador named Shane and together we work as integral members of the United Nations K-9 (Canine) units with the Office of Safety and Security.

I first began working with Shane in June 2006, when we attended the New York State Police Academy together. The United Nations had provided me with this opportunity for higher learning through the Academy following my studies at the Jay College of Criminal Justice here in New York City. After graduation, I was selected as the first female Security Officer to attend specialized training at the Academy. Shane and I graduated together in July and I had the honour of being the first female canine handler in the history of the United Nations. Today, Shane and I are inseparable. We spend every day together working, training, and “hanging out”. I could not have asked for a better partner. Furthermore, I cannot be thankful enough today without thinking about the opportunities that the United Nations has provided, as well as the road that led me here.

I took my first job with the United Nations as a Security Officer during the Millennium Summit in May 2000. While working in the Summit, I served a variety of senior officers and worked with various squads. As a Security Officer there are many different secondary jobs to support the office; I worked in a variety of these jobs; as a weapons armorer, cashier, control centre officer, as well as a squad desk officer. I excelled and learned from this work as I took on jobs of greater responsibility. In 2003, I was assigned to the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and later on to the K-9 unit of the Office of Safety and Security (OSS).

Our primary role with OSS is ordinance detection; Shane is trained to smell out and search for a variety of different types of explosive material. Aside from major events, we respond to bomb threats, clear suspicious packages, and search commercial vehicles entering United Nations Headquarters. Whenever the Organization has a major event such as the General Assembly, Shane and I are hard at work facilitating safe movement of staff members. We also work in conjunction with the New York Police Department to maximize security during that time.

The United Nations is unlike any other organization. I have the opportunity to work with other security officers from many different countries. They are able to share their experiences from their countries and provide new methods for maximizing security here at Headquarters in New York. I love my job as a K-9 handler and believe a potential applicant must understand that you must love what you do in order to really appreciate working at the United Nations.

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