Lydia Pitre was born and raised in Puerto Rico and now works for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Pitre was on the search for a career that was long lasting, beneficial to not only herself but to others, and a career that would leave a positive impact on the community she works in. While visiting her sister, Pitre decided to attend a job fair and after a life-changing presentation she knew that law enforcement was the perfect fit for her.
“There was a bunch of cops interviewing people, showing what being a cop has to offer and all the benefits. There was a lady who was fantastic, she did great with her presentation. Everything that she was saying, the way she described the job. I was blown away by her and I was like wow this is exactly what I’m looking for,” Pitre said.
After the job fair Pitre joined the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and has been working there for 15 years. “I love my job, I love seeing positive things in the community, we see more than people getting arrested. Every day is different, we can get together with the Immokalee Kiwanis, pass out food throughout the community, get together with the Guadalupe Center or do things to help the homeless but nobody sees that. We do a little bit of everything. When people come to us and ask for help like they want to study but don’t have the money we walk them through it. We focus on helping people in the community better themselves but if they want to stay in a bad situation that’s their choice. I am very fortunate that they hired me,” she said.
Like most people who work in law enforcement, Pitre has a passion for helping others and wanted to go into nursing if law enforcement didn’t work out since it’s another career that is focused on helping people.
Being a cop comes with its challenges but according to Pitre the rewarding moments make those difficult times worth it. “Seeing people that you’ve known for years that have been in trouble, one situation to another one and going from little things to bigger crimes be able to straighten up their life and clean up. I remember this one guy, I don’t remember his name, but I remember his face. He had some issues and I saw him years later. He was married, he had kids and his own business, I was so happy for him. Seeing people turn around their life is probably the most rewarding part of my job,” Pitre added.
Some advice that Officer Pitre has for anyone who is considering going into law enforcement is to take the time to understand what you’re getting into because you must love what you’re doing. “If you just go to work because you have to do it, then you’re not going to do a good job but when you love what you’re doing you’re not only giving 100 percent but you’re going to go above and beyond.”
If Pitre had the power to change anything about a police officer’s uniform it would be the fabric. “It’s very hot and humid weather all around southwest Florida but it’s difficult to find the perfect answer, they want us to have non-flammable fabrics because we’re exposed to everything, we need fabric that is easy to wash and won’t get wrinkled but just something that is a little less hot.”
When asked if she could create her own cop car Pitre simply said “I love my car now, the SUV’s are fantastic. I’m not that tall, with the other cars I had to have a booster seat because I couldn’t see but the SUV’s are perfect.”
Officer Pitre is very proud of the work she does and is thankful that she has been able to see individuals within the community grow.