Former Cortland County sheriff's deputy makes third deployment

Caprice VanAuken (photo provided)

ITHACA, N.Y. - An Ithaca Police officer and former Cortland County sheriff's deputy is making her third deployment overseas.

Caprice VanAuken has been transferred to the 27th Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse, where she joins the 10th Mountain Division Main Command Post-Operational Detachment (MCP-OD).

"She is a hero and a true patriot," Ithaca Police Chief Pete Tyler said in a statement Monday. "She serves Ithaca with pride and professionalism, and without delay she drops everything and serves her country, too."

Born in Rochester, VanAuken spent her early childhood in Newark, N.Y., but would spend most of her high school years in DeRuyter. She studied criminology at SUNY Cortland for two years before enlisting in the New York Army National Guard and attending Military Police School in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

After returning home, she worked as a residential counselor at the William George Agency for several years. In 2011, she was deployed with the 107th Military Police Company to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She finished her college degree while oversees through Columbia College Online.

In July 2012, she returned to the U.S. and was hired by the Cortland County Sheriff's Department's Road Patrol Unit. Two years later, she was deployed for a second stint in Cuba with the 102nd Military Police Battalion, where she worked on military intelligence.

After her second return home, VanAuken was approved for a lateral transfer to the Ithaca Police Department, where she has worked for the past three years.

VanAuken said she chose to re-enlist in November.