It may have been destiny that led Brittney Oldham to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Brittney admits that she “grew up in law enforcement,” with her mother and aunt working for the Sheriff’s Department and her uncle working for the Santa Ana Police Department. However, Brittney had something else in mind for a career. “In college, I studied child and adolescent development and wanted to go into teaching,” Brittney stated. Her position as a Crime Prevention Specialist with the Laguna Hills Police Services has allowed her to fulfill both of her passions, in that she is now teaching various audiences about law enforcement.
Since joining the Sheriff’s Department in 2006, Brittney has served in a number of capacities and locations, from her first position as a Sheriff’s Cadet in Dana Point to the job she now holds. In between she worked for the Sheriff’s Department in Rancho Santa Margarita and in Mission Viejo, finding each community has its own personality and unique needs. Perhaps the thing she likes best about her job is the tremendous variety of assignments and responsibilities that come along with the position. “There is no typical day, every day is different,” according to Brittney. Among her duties are public presentations for groups ranging from preschoolers to senior citizens, offering an eight week Community Emergency Preparedness Academy that culminates with a mock disaster drill and providing car seat inspections to ensure infants and toddlers are safe motor vehicle passengers.
Some of Brittney’s duties are straight from today’s headlines, such as educating 8th grade girls about internet and cell phone safety. These types of programs require Brittney to stay current on the latest trends in social media. “The girls are not using Facebook because it is something their parents and grandparents are using.” While social media may change, her reminder to safeguard your personal information while online remains the same and provides Brittney a great opportunity to interact with youth in the community while providing a different perspective on law enforcement.
Brittney finds satisfaction in the difference she can make in the community as a Crime Prevention Specialist. “People remember me and people who have been involved in our Neighborhood Watch groups are often complimentary of our work as a liaison between law enforcement and the community.” While it can be frustrating that people don’t always put into practice the things they learn through crime prevention programs, Brittney says overall they are pretty receptive to the department’s emphasis on preventing crime whenever possible.
In the future, Brittney hopes to broaden her involvement in community relations activities and would like to help implement more programs for children, such as a child safety academy. No matter where the assignment, Brittney knows that the duties of a Crime Prevention Specialist and the opportunity she has with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to work with people of all ages will continue to provide her with the daily variety and many challenges that she has come to enjoy about her career.
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