Christina Cortese

Christina CorteseYou might not recognize Christina Cortese around campus, but she’s become an integral part of the UMB Police Department (UMBPD) as administrative assistant to Chief Alice Cary, MS. Cortese joined UMBPD in October 2017 after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

“This is actually my first ‘real’ job,” Cortese says. “I applied on a whim, and it ended up being the perfect fit.”

As a student, Cortese learned about the importance of community policing, which builds positive relationships and partnerships among members of the community and the officers who keep the community safe. Cortese says working for a progressive police department that embraces this model makes her proud. Engaging with the community and being part of events like National Night Out and the Polar Bear Plunge are her favorite parts of working at UMBPD. 

Working at UMBPD also can be fast-paced, and Cortese balances supporting the chief and deputy chief, the Support Services division, and additional responsibilities as they come up. Her well-planned day can change in an instant, but Cortese says having amazing administrative coworkers — Latoya Anderson, Krishauna Greene, and Nic Randrianarivelo — helps her keep a positive attitude.

Cortese is a huge animal lover and loves to spoil her two cats, Leo and Conley. She also remembers the day when Comfort K-9 dog Lexi joined the department.

“Pfc. Kelli Blackwell and Lexi immediately brighten my entire day when I get to see them,” Cortese says. “My camera roll is now full of pictures of Lexi, but don’t tell my cats!”

Cortese, a native of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, says she’s constantly asked why she moved to Maryland. She does miss her home state, but Cortese says she loves watching the leaves change color and especially loves winter.

In her free time, Cortese likes to hike trails and play video games — her favorite is World of Warcraft. She also is a bit of a food connoisseur and recommends new UMB students try Memsahib at Lexington Market, Dooby’s, Zella’s Pizzeria, Taco Town, and the hospital cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. She also encourages all UMB students to use the department’s Safe Walk/Safe Ride service. “Our officers are really nice and friendly,” she says.

Cortese hopes to one day work in counterterrorism or intelligence, but adds, “I’m open to anything.”