Scottsdale Salutes financial crime investigator Betsy Kaufman

For Scottsdale resident, Betsy Kaufman, she found her favorite job after retiring from her career.

Betsy Kaufman

Betsy Kaufman

Ms. Kaufman volunteers for the Scottsdale Police Department in the financial crime unit assisting detectives by obtaining information on cases.

Prior to volunteering with the police department, Ms. Kaufman was a fraud and insurance investigator for an insurance company, and found herself later extending her skills at the local level.

“Unlike in insurance, you would get on the phone with people who were very harassing, so-to-speak,” said Ms. Kaufman in a Dec. 28 phone interview. “This job is investigation. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”

She said she loves the job so much because it is interesting and different every day. Going to work between two and four days a week, Ms. Kaufman will review cases, contact victims, obtain records, issue subpoenas and even be present during arrests.

“I might obtain bank records — one case I spent a couple of months just looking over bank records every day,” said Ms. Kaufman.

The job is time-consuming. There is a misconception of how long a fraud case might take, said Ms. Kaufman.

“Some are massive,” said Ms. Kaufman. “The public expects that you’re going to report a case and it will be done in a week or two. If you figure it takes the bank months to get you records, a lot of times people are not expecting that.”

She first became acquainted with the department after leaving her job and signing up for the police department’s Citizen’s Academy.

“I thought ‘now what do I do? I don’t want to stay home,’” said Ms. Kaufman. “I started looking around and enrolled in the Citizen’s Academy.”

The free course, then 12-weeks long, carries students through all the facets of the police department — everything from the canine unit to traffic enforcement to surveillance.

“Every week it’s a different speaker and at the end they take you out onto the courses where they train the officers for driving,” said Ms. Kaufman. “We went on a high-speed simulated chase and the gal that I was with, we both got out of the car and threw up afterwards.”

“I was really interested and made a comment saying ‘wow I could take my skills and turn it into what I used to do,’” said Ms. Kaufman. “So they took my information and I had to go through an investigative background check for about six months, and then they offered me a job in the financial crime unit.”

Ms. Kaufman recommends the Citizens Academy for other Scottsdale residents, stating how much she learned.

“You learn every aspect of everything that goes on,” said Ms. Kaufman. “It’s great.”

In addition to volunteering for the police department, Ms. Kaufman and her husband reside in Scottsdale and she enjoys baking goods for her co-workers.

To volunteer for the city of Scottsdale, visit www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov/volunteer.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be e-mailed at mfittro@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/melissafittro.

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