Carolyn Carbone and Sarah Hassett are the first mother and daughter duo in the history of the Syracuse Police Department (SPD). Before they became police officers, they earned Criminal Justice degrees from OCC.
Carbone graduated from Fowler High School. Her father’s military service inspired her to go into law enforcement and the strong reputation of OCC’s Criminal Justice program brought her to campus. “As I researched the faculty I realized they were retired police officers. Being able to learn from former cops was very important to me.”
During Carbone’s time as a student she gave birth to her daughter. Carbone utilized the on-campus day care, the Children’s Learning Center while she went to class. She earned her degree in 1993.
Eighteen years later Carbone’s daughter, Sarah Hassett, graduated from Solvay High School. Once again the current generation was motivated by the previous generation. “My mom was my inspiration,” Hassett said. “She was a single mother to me and my three brothers and would tell us stories about what she did each day. I knew I wanted to become a cop.”
As a Criminal Justice major Hassett found herself drawn to two of her professors, David Owens and former Syracuse Police Officer Donna Stuccio. “When my mom found out I had them as teachers she could not say enough about them. I am sure they were pretty amused by the dynamic as well. I tried to draw as much knowledge from them as possible.”
Today Carbone and Hassett find both humor and pride in being SPD’s first mother and daughter duo, especially when they respond to a scene together. “I tell my mom to stop creepin’ on me,” Hassett said laughing. “But I know she is only looking out for me especially if an urgent call comes in.”
Carbone knows their situation is unique and works to respect her daughter’s judgement and space. “If I come up on a call where she is already on the scene I continue to let her take the lead and work with her. We both have our ‘officer hats’ on at that point.”
That “officer mentality” has led both women to become closer since Hassett joined the force. “I appreciate my mom more and more each day for working as hard as she did to get through school and provide for my brothers and me so we could have a better life.” Carbone shares a similar sentiment about her only daughter. “She makes me proud every day. I’m grateful we can share this experience. It’s a bond that will be with us forever.”