You have a high-stress job. When you're dealing with an especially violent case, how do you distance yourself from it when you're off the clock?
It's hard to distance myself from certain cases when I am off the clock. I think most person-crime detectives would agree with me on that. I am thankful for a loving family and great friends that respect and understand my decision to not talk about what's going on at work.
Earlier this year I started a combination of running/walking after attending a Couch to 5K program offered by a local running club, Columbus Roadrunners. I've completed 10 5Ks and the 2012 Peachtree Road Race. I will attempt to complete my first half marathon, the Soldier Half Marathon, on Nov. 10. I am very excited and thankful that I have a few friends running with me. Running has been a great way to relieve stress and get in better health.
What role, if any, has your gender played in how you approach your job?
I would say that my gender has played a huge role in certain areas of my job. I think female detectives are very critical members of the Robbery/ Homicide Unit. I think that I've been able to contribute unique and important perspectives, experiences, and skills in my unit. In many situations, I think my different skills, approaches and talents have often spelled the difference between success and failure on a case or investigation.
I've found myself playing the role of the mother, daughter, sister, cousin and/or friend to obtain information from suspects and victims for the investigation. I'm not sure who I'm going to be when I walk into an interview until I get in the interview room and get a feel for what it's going to take to get this person sitting in front of me to feel comfortable enough to open up to me.
Our department has found that investigative teams composed of males and females are much more effective at bringing investigations to a successful resolution. I would like to add that every successful case that I've had the opportunity to be a part of was successful because of the hard work and effort of my entire Robbery and Homicide Squad along with the assistance from other detectives and the Bureau of Patrol Services. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with such professional and caring individuals.
You'll soon participate in the Soldier Half Marathon. How was the training process?
Well, I joined the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Training Program and missed the first few runs because of my work schedule. I finally decided that I would do the runs with whoever could run with me on my time or I would run alone. I would complete a run/walk combination of between 4 and 5 miles twice a week during the week and a longer run/walk combination once on the weekend.
My longest run has been 10 miles. I set a goal early in the year to complete a half marathon and if I have to crawl in, I'm going to complete it. I'm in a race with myself, not anyone else. This isn't about time for me, it's about a personal goal I set for myself early in the year when I decided I wanted to be healthier. I want this experience to just be fun, fun, fun! And most of all I get to run in honor of a fallen soldier.
What's a basic personal safety tip that people often overlook?
Always trust your instincts. Listen to that little voice in your head. If it tells you that something isn't right, it usually isn't. I've worked several assaults and murders where individuals called a close friend or relative and told them that they suspected something wasn't right and they failed to act upon their instincts and became victims of violent crimes.
What's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
I would have to say the Columbus Roadrunners Club and several of the events sponsored by Big Dog Running Company. The club and store promote the fun of running and getting physically fit throughout the Chattahoochee Valley. They each get people of all ages and backgrounds involved in getting healthier.
Big Dog Running Company sponsors and organizes several running and walking events throughout the area. There are several running or walking events every weekend in the Chattahoochee Valley. Go to the Columbus Roadrunners Club or Big Dog Running Company's website for more information on the different events in the surrounding area.