BREWSTER – Nattalie Cariker is leaving the Brewster Police Department chief position to become an investigator with the state Department of Social and Health Services.
Starting Sept. 1, she will work in Omak as an investigator with adult protective services.
“It was a hard decision to make since I enjoy being a police officer in Brewster,” she said. “I turn 40 this year and started thinking what I wanted to do with the next 20 years of my life.
“One of many reasons I got into police work is for investigations. My new job will be investigations. I won’t be on call, work weekends or holidays, which occurs in police work. I want to focus on my family and give them the time they deserve.”
She and her husband, Kelly Cariker, have been married since 2003 and have four children – two boys and two girls – ranging from teenager to toddler in age.
Brewster is advertising for a new chief.
“Potential candidates should have experience working in or around small departments in small communities,” said the advertisement. “The city seeks a community-oriented experienced and compassionate law enforcement officer willing to work in all facets of law enforcement services delivery including patrol, scheduling, meeting with the mayor, city council, and working with other city department heads.”
Applicants need a minimum of five years of law enforcement experience, leadership experience and/or academic credentials indicating the potential for success in a leadership role, said the announcement.
Cariker said she has been with the Brewster department for 17 years. She was hired in January 2001 and attended the police academy in Burien.
“My entire law enforcement career has been with Brewster,” she said. “In 2012, I left being a full-time police office for about 1.5 years to be a stay-at-home mother with my children. I was a reserve police officer and helped out on occasion,” she said.
She returned to the department in November 2013 as a police officer and July 2016 was appointed as chief.
The police department at the time was made up of a chief, supervisor, three officers and administrative assistant/court clerk.
She served as a field training officer for new officer, child interviewer and Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer.
Cariker, who became DARE officer in 2003, said the program has changed over the years. It focuses on helping youngsters make good decisions.
“It’s a great program having law enforcement in the schools,” she said. “The DARE program makes positive connections with the children in the community. It’s a 10-week program with a graduation ceremony. I added, years ago, a field trip to the jail, juvenile detention and court. The field trip can show students why not to get into trouble but also the different jobs that are available.”
As chief, she said she believes it’s important for the department to be involved in the community in a positive manner.
“The department still accomplishes its traditional job requirements of traffic, patrol, investigations and municipal codes,” she said. “It’s important for the department to be connected with the school by attending (parent advisory committee) meetings, sporting events, school meetings, crosswalk patrols, Halloween safety presentation, general safety/law enforcement talk, and even 911 presentation with (sheriff’s office) dispatch. The private schools and Head Start children are also involved law enforcement safety presentations.”
In 2016, the department had its first National Night Out event and has been doing it ever since.
“It’s a great way for first responders and other organizations to come together in community participation in non-emergency manner,” Cariker said. “At the event, the community can obtain helpful information and meet employees of the departments and organizations.”
Private donations provide two bikes, which are raffled at the event.
In December, the police department has Cops N Kids event at the Boys & Girls Club recreation center. It features free snacks, games, crafts, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and shops where children and adults can purchase gifts for $1 per item.
The items are donated or purchased by money raised.
“It’s a great, affordable way to have Christmas for families,” said Cariker.
Cariker lives in Omak and plans to continue her work with the city council, Omak Chamber of Commerce and Omak Kiwanis Club. She organizes the Halloween Harvest Festival and Zombie Fun Run.