MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Law enforcement agencies are struggling to find new recruits as they deal with officers retiring and a lack of people signing up for public service.
News 19 did a ride-along with a new deputy in Marshall County to see why she signed up for the job.
“I absolutely love it. It’s definitely one of those jobs that you have to want it. You have to love what you do because if you don’t then you’ll never make it in this job,” Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy TJ Creel said.
Deputy Creel told us she’s wanted to have a career in law enforcement since she was a young girl.
“I grew up in a law enforcement family… My dad has been a cop for over 30 years so I knew I wanted to dome something like that but I didn’t know in what role,” Creel said.
Creel worked in various related roles including dispatch and records, before taking the leap to Deputy.
“So finally I was just like, ‘I’m not getting any younger’ and I did it. And I love it,” Creel said.
Creel says each day is similar but different. After a year on the job, she’s gotten into a rhythm.
“I like to serve my civil papers first and then basically it’s answering calls, working a little bit of traffic if we have time in between calls and then I like to get out and interact with people in the community,” Creel said.
What is one of the most rewarding parts of the job? Creel says it is seeing people change for the better.
“Seeing someone you’ve maybe dealt with in not the best way on a call. And then seeing them a few months down the road and they are like, ‘Thank you. Thank you for taking me to jail’,” Creel said.
Other than working patrol, Creel also serves warrants. She says seeing people in the community who’ve changed life courses makes it worth it.
“As weird as it sounds, these people turn their life around because of something you had to do in a situation that wasn’t the best for them. You see them living healthy lives and it’s just that little piece of being proud for someone,” Creel said
And following in her father’s footsteps, to protect and serve, “There was never to me, another career option. Like I knew this is what I wanted to do,” Creel said.
If you’re interested in joining the force, or maybe a little bit on the fence, Creel said, “If you know it’s what you want to do, just go do it. Don’t let the doubts or anything get into your mind.”
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, like many other departments in North Alabama, have open positions. Also, if you haven’t been trained, the Sheriff’s Office is also offering to send you.
Applications can be found online on the Sheriff’s Office website.