SMPD Officer Receives International Recognition
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Publish date: 11/14/2023 | Featured Department: San Marcos Police Department
One of our own San Marcos Police officers is putting our city on the map internationally. Corporal Claudia Cormier was recently named a 40 Under 40 awardee by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP.) IACP is recognized for its efforts in global policing, and commitment to advancing safer communities through thoughtful, progressive police leadership. The annual award recognizes the top rising leaders from around the globe, exemplifying leadership, dedication, and service to their communities and the law enforcement profession.
Cpl. Cormier, who has been with SMPD for 16 years, learned about the 40 Under 40 award when a professor at Texas State University said she should apply. Cpl. Cormier is currently working toward her Master of Public Administration degree. As part of her applied research project, Cpl. Cormier is working on a mental wellness program for law enforcement.
“I’m trying to assess a current return-to-duty program in an agency along the Central Texas corridor. And from there, I want to see if there’s any way we can find out a little bit more about it to where it can be expanded to the civilian staff, eventually maybe even implement it within our organization,” Cpl. Cormier said.
Cpl. Claudia Cormier at her Homecoming event in 2019.
This is a special project for Cpl. Cormier, considering she recently returned to duty this year after an injury on the job in May of 2019. A driver struck her while she was picking up debris from I-35. After losing her leg, Cpl. Cormier spent three months in the hospital and underwent 20 surgeries before learning to walk again. She said while she recovered, she wasn’t sure what was in store for her if she returned to SMPD.
“I had all those questions at home – how am I supposed to come back? Is the place even accessible? How am I supposed to do this? What am I going to do? What’s the transition phase (like)?” Cpl. Cormier wondered.
As part of her project, Cpl. Cormier is looking into how to have psychological and physical resources, training, and updates within the organization ready for staff when they return to work, whether it be from an injury, pregnancy leave, or otherwise.
She said the program wouldn’t only include officers in the line of duty, but civilian staff as well.
“I feel like they get forgotten a lot. There’s a lot of trauma that they endure with us as well,” Cpl. Cormier said.
Cpl. Claudia Cormier
As someone who worked as a dispatcher for more than eight years, Cpl. Cormier can relate. She eventually went to the academy and became an officer. After that, she worked in the Criminal Investigations Division as a detective, and she was recently promoted to Corporal. Cpl. Cormier also leads the Peer Support Team at SMPD, which provides support to members and families after a significant life event, even if it didn’t happen in the line of duty.
Cpl. Cormier was one of 40 people working in law enforcement around the world -- including Bahrain, Canada, the United Arab Emirates – to have received this award. As far as what’s next in her career, she says she loves San Marcos and plans on staying here.
“My community was very good to me and that’s why I want to make a positive impact for the next few years until I decide that I’m ready to retire,” she said.