SMCPD Swears In New Police Captain
The chirps of alarms buzzing around the room don’t cease for a moment in the office of Captain Vincent Carter, Santa Monica College Police Department’s (SMCPD) newly appointed team member as of November 8. Having transferred from the Los Angeles County Police Department, Carter comes from an extensive history of police work, yet he is eager to learn what this new environment can teach him.
Carter grew up in a small town in Mis- sissippi of about 50 residents. Coming from such humble beginnings, education has always been important to Carter. He gradu- ated from Mississippi State University in 1985 with a degree in Petroleum Engineer-ing and worked for three years in that eld.It was when Carter was beginning an engi- neering job in Ventura, CA that a friend suggested a career in law enforcement. Carter hopped in a police car for a ride along oneHalloween night to nd a missing child, andknew from that moment that this was a career for him. “It was just something about being in the patrol car itself,” Carter recalled, “I liked the feeling. It was just different, some- thing I had never experienced before. It was just the idea that parents had lost their kid and we were assigned the responsibility oftrying to nd the kid...I just felt like I couldreally enjoy this job.”
Carter began his police work as a CustodyOf cer in Valencia, CA and has handledmany different roles since then, such as patrol, detective, and undercover assign- ments. Carter was enthralled by his time spent working undercover to target mid- level crime in the city. He said “I came up with a different identity, I had a different name, they gave me a card and I actually lived at another house. When I went home I’d have to take different paths because we were not to be associated with our home or the police station.” From then on, Carter was promoted to Sergeant and then Lieuten- ant, covering various assignments in Los Angeles all the while. “That’s one of the nice things about being on such a large department... you get to see different assign- ments with different groups of people,” he stated.
Re ecting on his decision to join theSMCPD as a Captain, Carter stated, “I felt like I wanted a change. Most people retire once they get 30 years on, 31 years on... I’ve always enjoyed the academic environment.” Having an engineering degree himself, love for academics never left Carter through- out his career. “Engineering is about problem- solving. In any problem, you have to get a certain set of variables and it’s just a matter of using what resources are given to you, or what concepts are out there and put it all together to problem-solve... I’m very analytical in the way I look at problems for police work.”
Carter is plentiful in his ideas he’d like to implement over the next few years that might benefit students interested in police work. He said “I’ve missed the academic part of my life. In law enforcement there is that [academic] component, but it’s not utilized nearly as much as I think it should be. I’m looking for ways here to kind of bridge that gap.” Carter noted that he’d love to connect students with law enforcement by putting internship and volunteer opportunities in place at SMC. He continued, “I like the idea of partnership, working with law enforcement and the faculty here.”
Carter’s experience in law enforcement combined with his passion for academics has led him to a position at SMCPD that will allow him to protect and possibly enrich the lives of students at Santa Monica College.