Upon first meeting Carolyn Naroz, one thing was very clear: This woman is a total boss. She’s the Body-Worn Camera Management Analyst for the Richmond Police Department and an adjunct professor of criminology at Randolph-Macon College—as well as an active equestrian.
She dedicated her early active pursuits to dancing, but always knew that she’d find her way to riding. (And she was still a crazy horse girl—just waiting for the right moment to climb in the saddle.) A dancing injury, two graduate degrees, and a lot of life later, and she made her way to the stables.
“I could not feel more fortunate to be able to finally be in a place in my life where horses are a huge part of my everyday existence,” she says. “Horses are truly a lifelong passion for me, the first dream I could express as a child, and a dream I have finally been able to make come true for myself as an adult.”
FxR: Tell me a little bit about your horses and what events you compete in?
CN: Perkins (show name One of the Perks) is a 17 year old OTTB gelding. I currently lease him, but I’m actually buying him in December of this year. I feel so lucky that my amazing barn owners are willing to let me buy him and to have their guidance as I become a first-time owner. Perkins is incredibly smart, level-headed, and takes great care of me. He knows a heck of a lot more about this whole riding and jumping thing than I do and is the type of horse that tries to anticipate the next move and looks to please. I haven't actually shown yet but Perkins has plenty of hunter show miles and we will start showing in hunters in 2020.
FxR: How does riding fit into your everyday life?
CN: I ride three days a week under my half-lease with Perkins and I am so looking forward to owning him and being able to be at the barn every day! As much as I love my career, it can also be stressful. My time at the barn is critical to managing that stress because being around horses requires being fully present.
FxR: Your day job sounds fascinating. Could you tell us a little more about what you do?
CN: I am the Body-Worn Camera Management Analyst and a certified Taser Instructor for the Richmond Police Department, as well as an adjunct professor of criminology at Randolph-Macon College. I have a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Essentially, I am a social scientist and I was able to turn the research I did for my dissertation on officer perceptions of body-worn cameras and organizational justice into a position managing a body-worn camera program for a police department. Much of my work consists of drafting and revising policy, designing and conducting training for body-worn cameras and electrical weapons, as well as the day-to-day operations of video audits and sharing footage with the Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office for the City of Richmond. As a professor, I teach several different courses on criminology and policing. I currently have a foot in both the profession of policing and the academic world that studies policing. My goal is to always have my academic research knowledge serve the department and enable effective, efficient, and just delivery of police services to my community.
FxR: What are your favorite Free x Rein pieces and why?
CN: I love the Elite Equestrian Bodysuit! As a former dancer, the body-suit only makes logical sense in a pursuit that requires shirts to be tucked in. It’s also exceptionally crisp and professional looking. I also thoroughly enjoy the Signature Ponte Riding breech. They are so soft, flattering, and supremely comfortable!
FxR: Do you ever wear them for anything other than riding?
CN: I’ve worn my bodysuit and Ponte breeches to work, both together and separately. As someone who runs from working at the police department all day, to teaching in the late afternoons and then goes directly to the barn, Free x Rein is a life saver!
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