Sara Carter

Inspired by TV sleuths, a student finds her niche in law enforcement

The newest member of the Rockport, Texas, police force, Sara Carter, of Clear Lake, feels she has found her niche in the small beach town located between Houston and Corpus Christi.

The petite 25-year-old, who recently completed the College of the Mainland Police Academy, is well-spoken and often told by friends that she’s “not mean enough” for law enforcement. However, Carter is confident that she is in the right field.

“I’ve known since high school [that police work] was my goal,” she said.

Inspired by the sleuthing in TV shows such as “Law and Order,” Carter earned a degree in criminology from University of Houston-Clear Lake before enrolling in the COM Police Academy.

Though most students pursuing a second degree transition from a two-year to a four-year school, not the other way around, she soon found that she enjoyed the close-knit atmosphere at COM.

“It was a sense of community. I really missed COM when I left,” she said.

Carter’s small class learned together in the classroom, on COM’s gun range and on the field in practice sessions. Carter’s favorite exercise was conducting a mock building search in an empty house. Divided in teams, some students were tasked with finding the “bad guys,” who were other students armed with air-soft rifles and hiding in the darkened interior. Carter recalls that she and her teammate successfully immobilized their opponents.

“It’s all the hands-on stuff, not just sitting there and listening, that helps so much,” she said, adding that she has ADD. “They have the best professors.”

Instructor Lemuel Powell, who conducts 64 hours of shooting range training with each class, recalls Carter as a student—and mentioned her 95.06 average accuracy rate.

“She’s going to be an outstanding officer. She’s a very nice lady and an excellent shooter,” he said.

Carter feels ready to take the next step as a full-time officer.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

Plus, there’s always the beach.

“It’s probably where I’ll be every day when I’m off work,” she said. “It’s paradise. It can’t get much better than this.”

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