Q and A with Hostos Alumna Katherine Triunfel '10

Police Officer, NYPD



Q: How have you been involved in the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how has your role changed?

A: Well, we pretty much have no choice. We have to come to work. We're first responders, it’s our job to keep the people protected, no matter what's going on out here. Right now the most that we can do is ask people to recognize it's a little bit difficult if people like to comply. [We] make sure people are doing what they're supposed to do, wearing the mask, social distancing. We're more focused on helping out the people, getting to places, helping them if they're sick, making sure they get an ambulance. So that's pretty much it.


Q: So how has your job and role during the crisis impacted you personally, professionally, emotionally, and physically?

A: Thankfully I've been healthy, I think my family had been healthy. Personally, I didn't value [childcare] as much as I do now, because I've been going crazy trying to find somebody to watch my baby. That's one thing that I value now the most. So besides restaurants being closed. Sometimes we actually struggled to find somewhere to eat. We cannot sit down to eat and that's pretty much how we're eating, standing up. That's what it is.


Q: What advice do you have for others entering your field during a time of crisis?

A: Be ready to actually learn what it means to be a first responder. You don't get to stay home. We don't stay home. We actually have to come out. It doesn't matter what.


Q: If there is a future crisis, what would you recommend based on your experience here?

A: Actually listen to what the first responders are telling you. If they tell you to wear your mask, wear your gloves, stay home. I think if people had listened at the beginning when everybody said to stay home and actually protect themselves, I think the casualties that we have now could have been less, but people didn’t listen. I just hope everybody keeps protecting each other.


Q: What have you observed of COVID-19's impact on your field, your community, your city, or nationally, from your perspective of your profession during this time?

A: I think we have seen I think a little bit of a positive out of the fact that everybody's getting sick, you have the danger of being outside working and you could get sick yourself. I think people are being more understanding, they have been valuing family more, they have been valuing friends more because this came pretty much out of nowhere. So I think this brought people closer together. I think even though they are apart because of social distancing they got closer together.


Q: Can you please share a message that you have for Hostos community during this difficult time?

A: I hope that you guys all stay healthy, listen to the protective measures that you should be taking. Think of your family, value your family, tell them that you love them a lot every day. And to the graduating class that was supposed to be working out this year, stay strong, and you're gonna go out there and get a bachelor's or master's and you're going to be able to work out.

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