Casey Kourofsky – Systems Administrator, Plattsburgh Police Department

Casey Kourofsky is a testament to her North Country upbringing. She is smart, thoughtful, talented, hardworking, and genuine as defined by the many law enforcement officials she supports. Raised by entrepreneurial parents with an amazing life story, Casey took the lessons that inspired her growing up on a dairy farm to build her life story. While she renounced the teaching career everyone thought she should pursue for one in Information Technology, teach- ing is essential in her role as Systems Administrator. Technology changes at the speed of light and it’s up to Casey to keep law enforcement officials up to speed.

Hometown: Ellenburg Depot, NY Age: 32
Education: B.S. Information Technology Management, Houghton College

What’s most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
Technology changes so fast…and there are so many new tools available to law enforcement. Our agency has always been an early adopter of new technology and already uses a wide variety of devices both in the field and office. However, law enforcement is feeling the pressure to be even more transparent and technologically savvy. I get to be in on the ground floor of some of the improvements and advances that are happening in law enforcement technology and I find that very exciting.

What important lessons have you learned in your career?
My IT career has led me to manufacturing facilities, hospitals, schools and now law enforcement. Each environment presents its own set of challenges. Nevertheless, most people really want the same thing, and that’s to be comfortable using the technology they have available to them. If I can teach them to understand and embrace the technology, they’re going to enjoy their job just a little bit more. I get immense satisfaction from helping people figure it out and get that “ah ha!” moment.

Write a note to your younger self…
No one cares if you got an “A” or a “C” on that term paper…it’s the life experiences that really count.

What’s your biggest professional success?
I think that’s still yet to come. . . Usually one big thing is actually a sum of a bunch of little things that don’t seem like such a big deal until you look back on it. I’m working on those little things every day.

What’s your dream job?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. When the time is right, I’ll know it and I’ll take the leap of faith.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I love my work, but I love my home and family and the little place we’ve carved out for ourselves in this world. I go home at the end of the day and we enjoy what we’ve been given. We ride horses, go fishing; take pictures (lots and lots of pictures!).

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
My parents are the best examples of success that I can ask for. They have been entrepreneurs and business owners their whole lives. They know when to seek guidance and they are not afraid of taking risks. They have an amazing life story and I can only hope mine is half as interesting when I’m at their stage in life.

How do contribute to the culture of your company?
Technology plays such a huge roll in the day-to-day operations of the police department. One day I am implementing a new software suite and the next I’m helping gather digital evidence from cell phones or surveillance systems at a crime scene. The detectives and officers do the real expert work of evidence collection, but they call on me when they come across technology they aren’t familiar with. I have found myself in the midst of major investigations, like bank robberies. I’m there to provide the technical expertise they need to do their jobs well.

Every patrol car is equipped with computers, printers, scanners, video cameras, GPS and Internet connection. It is my job to make sure it’s working – and working reliably. I’m not afraid to crawl in the trunk to re-wire something or trace out a problem. It’s a dirty job

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I spent a mini semester of college living in Costa Rica with a Spanish-speaking family. At the time, I had a decent vocabulary in Spanish, but soon found out I had a long way to go! It is amazing what you can do when you’re thrown into a foreign situation. I learned so much from that experience that my only regret is that I didn’t do it again.

What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?
Improved access to affordable broadband in our rural areas would be a game changer. High speed Internet can really break down barriers that geography creates.

What is something that no one would guess about you?
I am licensed to carry, Target shooting is one of my favorite pastimes.