Thursday, July 25, 2013
Private First Class Jennifer Dias, 22, of Summerville, has been with the Summerville Police Department for three years but she was a veteran, of sorts, of police work.
When she was 14, she worked with the Modesto [CA] Police Department as a decoy in its Minor Decoy Ops, she says.
She was used to do alcohol and drug buys.
“I would wear a wire,” she explained, “and there would be real cops all around.”
She says she got into the decoy work when she was a sophomore in high school. “The school resource officer knew I was interested in law enforcement,” she explains, “so he asked if I would be interested in the Minor Decoy Op. I said I would love to!”
Her father signed the paperwork although, she says, she never got into detail with her parents about what she actually did.
Such as, making a cocaine buy on the street from a dealer.
Dias says that after that first night, buying coke, the cops did a traffic stop and were able to arrest the dealer and others with a car full of drugs.
“After that I was hooked.”
She says she worked the op on a weekly basis and on weekends. Her twin sister, Kristen, did it a few times as well, but wasn’t as in to it, she says.
When she was 16, her family moved to Summerville. While at Summerville High School she joined the cadets for three years and then went to Trident Tech for three years.. She became a dispatcher in 2010 after doing an internship with SPD, which trained her in dispatching. “When a position opened up, I went for it,” she says.
This allowed her to work her way into the police department. After two years as a dispatcher, she has spent her last year as a police officer.
Now, expecting a baby girl in September, she is back on the dispatch desk for hers and the baby’s safety.
“I plan to go back on road patrol in October or November,” she says. “My mom lives up the street and can help.”
Dias lives with her twin sister, Kristen, a Summerville firefighter.
“I enjoy this job, helping people,” she says.
Her goal in the department is to become a K-9 Officer or a detective.
She remembers one of her worst calls, as a dispatcher as being a call where a man had shot someone in self defense.
“He was being attacked and he was stressed and I had to calm him down.”
As a police officer, she went to her first shooting, as the first unit on scene to a home invasion in Robynwyn.
“We didn’t know [when we responded] that anyone had been shot…then we found a guy had been shot,” she says.
She recalls another incident where she responded to assist another office in a traffic stop with an irate woman who had a 10-month-old baby in the back seat improperly restrained and empty [alcohol] containers.
Dias says she tried to calm the woman to no avail. The woman attempted to leave and when Dias reached into the car to remove the keys from the ignition the woman leapt out of the car and punched her twice in the face.
After the woman was restrained, the officers discovered she had a handgun in her lap and a Taser.
In her spare time, says Dias, she likes spending time with her sister and volunteering at the fire department.
She says she is athletic and likes to work out but perhaps not to the extent her sister is. She loves spending time with her little three-year-old brother and her Golden Retriever, Max.
She enjoys kayaking like her sister, but fishing…not so much.
She does extra duties to earn money such as working at the movie theater, and area restaurants at closing time. She enjoys the occasional night out downtown.
And as with her sister, to Jennifer, family comes first.
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