After more than 20 years in law enforcement, Deborah Bayer
knows a thing or two about being a cop.
Now, she'll share that knowledge with the students of Oakland Community College
as the new director of the Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) project.
"I've had an incredible law enforcement career," said Bayer
As an 18-year-old fresh out of high school, Bayer
enrolled in the police academy.She
was told she
could work as an officer and work her
way through college.Bayer
had intended to be a juvenile probation officer."Once I got into being a police officer, I fell in love with it," she said.She recently retired from the Flint Police Department, where she had worked since 1983.She
also worked in the Grand Blanc Police Department
So after working for so long, why is Bayer
taking on a new challenge?The answer is simple.
"I'm way too young to retire," she
said."Plus, I still have kids in school."Bayer
is eager to get to work promoting the CREST program, a training "city" where police, fire and medical personnel can learn how to deal with many different crime and emergency scenarios, including terrorism - before being thrust into the real world.
The 22-acre site on the college's Auburn Hills campus features a bank, a school, homes, a gas station and other buildings where realistic demonstrations can take place.Bayer
said the teamwork training provided by CREST is vital, especially in a world aiming to prevent terrorism.She
said CREST teaches police, firefighters and medical workers to work together in times of crisis.
"It sounds so simple," she
Now, it's up to Bayer
to get the word out about the program.She
said that's high on her
has been on the job since Jan. 4.
"The public sector knows we are here, but the private sector does not," she
- who lives in Gaines with her husband, Bruce Coxworth; two children; and three stepchildren - hopes that her experience training officers will pay off in her new position.