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!0 Questions: She’s the ‘underdog’ in a predominantly male profession

!0 Questions: She’s the ‘underdog’ in a predominantly male profession

By Anne O’Connor

TOWNSEND — Kym Craven founded Public Safety Strategies Group in 1994. The Townsend-based consulting firm works with government organizations ranging in size from small-town departments to federal agencies.

In December, they completed a review of the Boston Police Department and made recommendations in several broad areas of police operations.

Q: You wrote grants and worked in management for the Lowell Police Department. How did that job lead you to establish what is now an internationally-known firm?

A: I got requests to help write grants and develop programs. It grew and grew. I said, “I’m going to make a career of this.”

Q: What were your original career goals?

A: I thought my career would be full-time law enforcement.

Q: How did starting PSSG fit in with those plans?

A: Opening the company is what my contribution was going to be.

Q: What does your firm do?

A: Interviews, (data) analysis, research best practices. We break our findings and recommendations into a timeline.

Q: Why do departments hire you instead of doing it themselves?

A: It’s the ability for municipalities to hire a research team that doesn’t have to attend to the daily work that’s really, really helpful.

Q: What is one of the most gratifying things you’ve done professionally?

A: Starting to work with some major cities as a female in a primarily male profession. I certainly was the underdog.

Q: You’ve worked with agencies of all sizes in the United States. How did your experience translate into working with international clients visiting the states?

A: It’s really different. Building that capacity internationally is certainly a challenge. We learned just as much from them as they learned from us.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: It’s really the totality of it. Some of the smallest things that we do are sometimes the most gratifying.

Q: Why is your business headquartered in Townsend?

A: We moved as a family to Townsend in the mid ’70s. I split my time between Townsend and Lyndeborough, N.H.

Q: Why did you want to do this interview?

A: I’d been away a lot. It’s nice to connect with the community. It’s just nice to share some good news.

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.

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