Alumni Spotlight: Karen Bartuch (CMN ’10)

Photo: Tom Vangel
The phrase “Run at the problem, not away” is ingrained in Karen Bartuch (CMN MA ’10), and it’s a mantra that has served her well over the years. At the Chicago Police Department (CPD), she ran toward the problems. Today, at Motorola Solutions, she runs toward the technological answers that help the police stay safe while protecting the public. “I’m not someone who sees a problem and sits around and gripes about it,” she says. “I’d rather go out and make some change that will positively affect it.”

Bartuch leads the communications, portfolio management and project management teams by overseeing internal messaging, business unit investments and new solutions development. “There’s a lot of data out there, and it’s just a matter of making sense of that data and getting it to the officers when they need it,” Bartuch explains. “That’s what the whole solutions and services unit is trying to tackle. We may not be on the front lines, but we’re helping the people who are on the front lines be safer, and our jobs are important because of that. I love it. It’s exciting, fun and hard.”
No stranger to public safety, Bartuch spent 10 years with the CPD, during which she began the Women’s Tactical Association to provide a venue for women to receive specialized training. She was serving as policy advisor to then-CPD Superintendent Jody Weis when she enrolled at DePaul to gain formalized training to supplement her passion for communication. “No matter what you do, being a good writer and communicator who is good at strategic-level thinking and strategic planning is really important,” she says. Never satisfied, Bartuch recently enrolled in DePaul’s new executive doctorate in business administration program. “I have a drive to be constantly innovating, creating and challenging the status quo,” she says. “I always worry about becoming complacent. I like feeling pushed and challenged in ways that I’ve never felt before. I’m comfortable being uncomfortable.”
“Stop worrying about what people think of you. Once you can do that, it’s very liberating. If you know you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, you’re going to face scrutiny. Good or bad, you have to be able to accept it.”
Originally published at