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“It’s a calling,” Fairbanks woman lands dream job as crime scene investigator

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 4:14 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) has hired their first ever crime scene investigator. Shasta Pomeroy is a North Pole native who grew up and went to school in the Fairbanks area.

Her dream job: being a crime scene investigator.

Now, FPD has made her dream come true, making her the only CSI in the state of Alaska.

“For me, it’s not just a day job, it’s a calling. I am so passionate about it and I love it so much that it’s just one of those things that you find and that you are just like, ‘it’s both a passion and a job’ - and it just all melded together, and I was just super passionate about being able to do that,” Pomeroy said.

The Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) has hired their first ever crime scene investigator....
The Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) has hired their first ever crime scene investigator. Shasta Pomeroy is a North Pole native who grew up and went to school in the Fairbanks area.(Teal Soden/ Fairbanks Police Department)

After graduating high school, Pomeroy began attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) with the goal of becoming a prosecuting attorney. However, once she began taking classes she quickly realized that she didn’t love that choice. While in school she did ride-alongs with law enforcement.

Pomeroy said that she went to the scene of a crime one time and realized that she wanted to study crime scenes. “Everybody who knows me was kind of like, ‘What, you made a shift.’ But I found something I love and something that I hope I can help with what I do.”

After deciding being a CSI is what she wanted to do, Pomeroy continued studying and taking classes to better learn the field. She graduated from UAF with a masters degree in criminal justice. She also took classes in the lower-48 to become qualified to do crime scene investigating.

Pomeroy said that once she finished with her schooling, she was ready to start a career. “For me to start off my career, I wanted to start off with the community I began in.”

There was a problem however, there were no CSIs at FPD. In fact, there were no CSIs anywhere in the state of Alaska.

“Crime scene investigators are all across the lower-48 and so I thought they would be up there too. When I came up here, [I] found out that, at least according to my preliminary research, there are no crime scene investigators up here,” Pomeroy said.

Even looking through the history of law enforcement in Alaska, she said she has not been able to find any crime scene investigators. “So knowing that that didn’t exist here obviously was definitely a conundrum for me because I’m like, ‘I really want to start here in Alaska for my career but there are no positions’. So that was probably the biggest hurdle.”

Pomeroy thought about just moving down to the lower-48 for a job, but decided not to give up. She began working at FPD first as a data management clerk and then became a evidence technician. Even though she hadn’t reached her goal she was still hopeful.

On Monday Pomeroy’s hard work paid off as she was presented her badge at the city council meeting. Monday also happened to be International Women’s Day.

Pomeroy said that wasn’t planned but was a special touch to the day.

Since becoming a CSI she said she has been loving every moment of her job. “I have woken up every day just so happy to go to work, because this is the job that I have really wanted and worked for. I am just so glad.”

Since attaining her dream job, Pomeroy has advice for other young girls and boys wanting to pursue their dreams. “Make yourself a resource not a tool. It’s not about being that sales pitch, and being like, ‘Hey I am so amazing, I am so great, I want to do this.’ It’s being able to do the job. Be passionate about the work and build yourself up to be the best you can, and be that resource to them.”

Looking forward, Pomeroy said the one thing being a crime scene investigator has taught her is you can never predict the future; but she said she plans to stay in Alaska at least for now.

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