We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christine, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In 2003, I got laid off from my tech job of 8 years at the time. I was working full time and paying my way through college and commuting back and forth from Austin at Texas State University in San Marcos. When I lost my job, I decided to not halt going back to school and finishing my degree, which I was in my last 2 years of school taking upper level courses. So what did I do? I was 30 years old and attending class as an undergrad, non-traditional student with 18-19 year olds. It was crazy! Here I was, in class talking about rent, health insurance, unemployment lines, severance packages, 401k and other major bills and they were talking about mom or dad not paying for their cell phones or car insurance bills. I took out student loans, pawned just about every piece of jewelry or item of value at the pawn shop and took out payday loans. I hustled and grinded it out. I found a little job working no more than 20 hours and there were times couldn’t afford basic necessities. The cleaning lady would give me rolls of toilet tissue from when they cleaned the bathrooms and other cleaning supplies or food on days I was short. Although I am still paying on those student loans, I have since finished my bachelors in Communications, hold a masters degree in Criminal Justice and respected amongst my peers and community I serve as a detective in criminal investigations. Those hard times showed me that it was ok to gamble on myself; work hard and to not do anything to ruin the family name. The road has been lonely at times, because people aren’t always rooting for you to win. But thank God I didn’t listen to them. The rewards have definitely outweighed the risks.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After graduating from college in 2006 and moving back to Dallas, I was looking for another job that I could grow and retire from. In 2008 a friend of mine asked me if I ever thought about becoming a police officer. Being a police officer was not even on the top 500 jobs I have ever considered, plus I was 36 years old at the time. However, I took some time to research the profession as well as what I could personally bring to the table. I am intelligent, possess great communication skills, tough, empathetic and compassionate when situations call for it and considering my age, I could bring my experience into the field. Looking back, although I never thought this is where I wanted to be, but I feel that God lead me here. Aside from being in patrol, I was able to give back to the community in other ways, such as being a community police officer for several years, a detective in backgrounds (hiring), a recruiter and in criminal investigations. With each position I have been able to establish relationships with the community, stakeholders and the department; give voice to the voiceless and to share my positive and engaging energy with all I came in contact with. As a black person, a woman and officer, I am extremely proud of who I am and what I do, on and off the clock. The lessons and experiences I have learned over the years has afforded me the opportunity to become an adjunct professor in criminal justice and to speak to the community from my perspective in town halls or panel discussions. It is very important for me to show and be the change that the world wants to see. I work on that daily. But I want the world to know that I am more than just my 9-5. I laugh, cry, love happy hours, thrift shop and create content. Both avenues, I wholeheartedly respect them. Because neither is easy.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh goodness, In a week long trip, a spa day is definitely on the menu. Massages, mani\pedis are a must! From there, we would have to hit up a happy hour so we can play catch up, giggle and gossip over cocktails. Stirr or Moxies always has a good energy when we go. Or maybe it’s just us. We are always the life of the party! The next day is all about thrift shopping! That is an all day experience. So to get our energy up…and then to walk it off, breakfast at Snooze or Black Walnut Cafe. Since Dallas is so big, anywhere in the DFW we could hang out. Frisco, Deep Ellum (downtown Dallas) or somewhere in Uptown. When in doubt, Del Frisco’s in Uptown for their V.I.P cocktails and their lobster mac and cheese is always a fan fave amongst me and my girls! Sundays at the Lava Cantina in The Colony for some live music. You can never fail there!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow! Who gets credit? First, God. He is my anchor, my counselor and my protector. PERIOD! My family, specifically, my mother is the team captain of Christine’s Fan Club. My mother is such an amazing woman and pillar of strength. I talk with her daily and we act like old girlfriends! But, I have so much respect for her and all that she has sacrificed for me and my siblings. She keeps me grounded with love, support but mostly in faith.

I also have to give a shoutout to my linesisters from Iota Omega chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. My linesisters, are the best and are a 1000% supportive of everything I do!

Instagram: @priss_stines_closet

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