Friday, April 13, 2007


As you might have guessed...I am wearing a police uniform in that picture.
I used to be in law enforcement and did that on and off for 10 years.
How or why did I do that? Here is the story:
I dated and married a Yavapai County Deputy Sheriff when I was 21. We later moved to Coconino County where he, at the age of 39, made me a widow just after I turned 26 and 2 days before our 5th wedding anniversary. (His children were from a previous marriage -- we had none together)
I learned a great deal about law enforcement from him and how to ride a motorcycle. An Arizona Highway Patrol Motor Officer once rode next to me as I was on my way to work. He was in the same lane I was in!! Not a whole lot of room with his big ole bike and me on my 650 Kawasaki. He turned to me after the ride and said I was a very good motorcycle rider! I came to realize that it was a great compliment coming from a person who graduated from the Motorcycle academy.
So, back to why I decided to become one of those people with the ticket book.
I like to give back to the community where I live. I wanted to do something not everyone could do. I found that since I had good credit (yes, that counts), respect for the law and physically fit, I would try out for the sheriff's office AND the city police department in Washington state. I went through the testing (background, psychological, polygraph, physical agility and THE INTERVIEW) and passed for both departments. Now I had to choose which one I was going to join. Mind you, I would have to KNOW the entire area I would work in so I decided to join the city police department as it didn't seem as big as the county.
I went through the 6 month academy while I still worked 40 hours a week. Did I mention, I was not going to get paid for the police position? It is called being a Reserve Police Officer. Your duties and training were the same as a paid officer. Like I said, (I knew) not anyone could or would want to do this and it was my way of giving back to the community.
I made a good name for myself there. I didn't have a chip on my shoulder as many of the female officers I've met did. The Chief and other officers respected me and could count on me.
I loved the white collar crime part of the job with traffic stops second. I very rarely cited anyone for speeding but did cite for no proof of insurance.
I'll never forget one of my first traffic stops. My training officer and I were walking back to the patrol car when he asked me if I believed everything the guy said. When I said I did, he just slowly shook his head and said I had a looooong way to go. My response was, "He lied to me?!!!" That was a hoot! I grew up in the country where a handshake meant something and never thought about people lying. I have come to realize that people who lie are very busy. They have to remember who they lied to and then what they lied to them about. That's a lot of work!
I haven't been in law enforcement now for over 6 years. It was an interesting part of my life to be a part of the "Thin Blue Line" as a widow and an officer.


Scarlett said...

No wonder you and I have so much in common, I was a correctional officer for a year in NC DOC. You certainly deserve thanks for being a non paid position.

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Anyone in law enforcement is certainly a saint for dedicating their life to serve others.

Lily said...

I love reading about your life! You are a very interesting person. Glad you decided to Blog!


Monika said...

Only in the US is that possible! To be an police officer without being paid, just for the honor! It sounds pretty intresting though. When I was young, around 14 years old, I wanted to become a police officer for a while, because of my father. But at that time, a woman could only give parking tickets. That I was not intersted in. ;o)

Rochelle said...

You are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Alberta said...

NancyMaria you have been a blessing in my life. You are more than a simple friend to me you are a real friend.

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders
soggy from your tears.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real
friend expects to always be there for you!

So glad we have this special bonded friendship that will last a lifetime. We have had sorrow in our life but the precious friendship makes life like a rainbow. I thank you my friend.

Alberta said...

Thank you for sharing your life. What an inspiration. We share something in common. I too was a widow at a very young age, plus two young daughters in tow, 7 years olds and 15 months. My husband was a cab driver in New York City and was one of many killed on the job. But as the saying goes what doesn't kill makes you stronger. Which I am thankful I am a stronger woman and finally hit my 50th birthday this past Tuesday!!!! WHOA!!!

Ollie said...

wow, interesting've been thru so much & you're still so young! I'm in the process of moving to Yavapai county & I'm a knitter also...sox, big time!! maybe I'll run into you at the local yarn shop!! LOL!!

Romi said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It reminded me of what is *really* important.

Az Biker said...

And then there are those of us who have known you for over 30 years...................

Rachel Hauser said...

You are completely right - very few are really gifted to serve like that. I know folks would have a hard time taking me seriously!