Rachel Dolcine ’06 Sheds Light On Being A Law Enforcement Wife

Rachel Dolcine ’06 Sheds Light On Being A Law Enforcement Wife

Rachel Dolcine ’06 Sheds Light On Being A Law Enforcement Wife

Rachel Dolcine ’06 has never been one to shy away from a challenge. She emigrated to New York from Jamaica as a child, grew up in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, and enrolled at John Jay in pursuit of a career as an FBI profiler. But before she earned her degree, she started dating a Marine named Pierre, who told her that he wanted to become a police officer. After Pierre landed a job in the Baltimore Police Department, the couple got married. “Then, in 2004, with just two semesters left, I dropped out of John Jay because I was pregnant with my son,” says Dolcine.   

“I trekked from Maryland to John Jay College twice a week for my last two semesters. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing school,” —Rachel Dolcine ’06

Getting Back To John Jay
In February of 2005, Dolcine gave birth to her son Julius, and the following fall she signed up for classes at John Jay. “I trekked from Maryland to John Jay College twice a week for my last two semesters. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing school,” says Dolcine. Sometimes she’d find someone in Maryland to watch little Julius, other times he’d make the ride up with her and stay with a family friend in Brooklyn. All of her professors understood her situation and accommodated her however they could. “That degree that I got in 2006 from John Jay, it wasn’t just a piece of paper to me. It was my commitment to getting my degree and finishing my studies in an area that I was very passionate about, Deviant Behavior and Social Control.”

Rachel Dolcine
Rachel Dolcine

Finding A New Path
Being a police officer’s wife gave Dolcine special insight into the world of law enforcement. “I realized how intense that career field was,” she says. “My husband told me stories of the things he saw at work, and that helped me decide that I wanted to help young people who were in trouble.” In 2010, after receiving a master’s degree in Public Administration at The University of Baltimore, Dolcine started working at the Y in Central Maryland. “I ran programs in at-risk communities. My undergrad degree from John Jay gave me the ability to be more intuitive with people. It helped me learn how to be empathetic and really look at people as a whole.”

“One of the voices that you never hear are the voices of the spouses that serve alongside the police officers.” —Rachel Dolcine ’06

Expressing A Spouse’s Story 
Looking at people as a whole became the driving reason behind Dolcine writing her new book Love Behind The Blue Line: Stories of Love, Courage, Hope & Legacy. “One of the things that has always bothered me as a police officer’s wife is that the media has their perspective on policing. Politicians have their perspective on policing. Communities have their perspectives. But one of the voices that you never hear are the voices of the spouses that serve alongside the police officers,” says Dolcine. Her book, which is a collection of stories from the wives of police officers, offers up a broader picture of the law enforcement experience. Her goal was to breakdown misconceptions about the people behind the uniform, helping others understand that police officers have feelings just like everyone else—with good days, and bad days—but that they don’t have the luxury of letting those feelings show. “Pierre has told me stories about finding bodies in bathtubs that have been there for days because no one has checked on them. He’s found babies that someone killed and wrapped up in a blanket,” says Dolcine. “I think police officers feel a lot, and it takes strength to see what they see and be able to turn off the rage, sadness, or even wanting to cry.”

“If it weren’t for John Jay, I would not be as perceptive and empathetic to other human beings.” —Rachel Dolcine ’06

Looking Back At John Jay
Dolcine credits her education at John Jay for helping her understand the depths of other people’s experiences. “My classes at John Jay made me curious and made me want to dig deeper when it comes to human behavior,” says Dolcine. “If it weren’t for John Jay, I would not be as perceptive and empathetic to other human beings. I would not understand to look deeper into what someone else has been through.”