Kathy Lovetro’s smile can’t be obscured by the thick bullet-proof glass she works behind at the Kenosha Police Department’s front desk, and it’s not the place you’d expect to see a smile, but there it is nonethless.
Lovetro’s title is office associate. It’s a multi-faceted job with a host of responsibilities involving parking tickets, police tow logs, false alarms, tavern incidents, subpoenas and background checks. There’s certainly nothing pleasant about those circumstances, but Lovetro is empathetic to those showing up at her desk.
“When people walk in to the KPD, my co-workers and I are the first person to greet anybody that comes here,” she said. “ So we think of ourselves as a link between the citizens and law enforcement — the officers, the detectives, administration.”
Q: I imagine you must meet people in all sorts of moods.
A: That is true. Usually when somebody has to go to the police department, they’re usually not very happy, and we try to be extra kind, and we try to help them the best we can.
Q: What strategies have you learned that help accomplish that?
A: Usually when they come in, they don’t know who they want to talk to. First of all we ask them what happened. Then we try to figure out who they need to talk to. Because the officers work on different shifts, the officer they want might not be here, so we tell them how to get in touch with them. We take a message; we send an email to the officer who will then get in touch with them.
Q: What’s it like working with police officers compared with other co-workers you’ve had in the past?
A: I’m proud and honored to be working at the Kenosha Police Department. Our police officers are brave. Our police officers are dedicated. Our police officers are hard-working, and I’m not just saying that; I see it every single day.
Q: Having been here for four years, do you wish you had been working here longer?
A: Definitely. I wish my whole career had been with the Kenosha Police Department. I love being here.
Q: Are there any other jobs within KPD that interests you?
A: I have the dream job. This is it.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
A: Probably one of our most difficult jobs is that we transcribe highly confidential material from taped interviews. That is very difficult because we take it very seriously, and we want to make sure we do it right. Thank goodness there aren’t many of those.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge of your job?
A: Sometimes things that are happening are sad, and I can’t do anything to make things better for that person.
Q: What abilities are most important to do your job?
A: Secretarial skills, of course, but you also need to have patience in your job. You need to be compassionate to work here, and kind to everybody, no matter if they hurt you. Sometimes people say things that you might not like to hear, but they’re angry, they’re upset. You can’t take it personally.
Snapshot is a weekly feature introducing a Kenosha County resident. If you have someone who may be a subject for the feature, email the Kenosha News photo staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.