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History in the making: First female deputy hired at Sheriff’s Office

The Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office proudly welcomes Rachel Farmer to the squad. Farmer, 24 from Pike County, is the first female deputy to serve on the Crenshaw County Sheriff's squad (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

The Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office proudly welcomes Rachel Farmer to the squad. Farmer, 24 from Pike County, is the first female deputy to serve on the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s squad (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

For the first time in the history of the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office, a female deputy has been hired to the force.

Rachel Farmer, 24 of Pike County, began her work in the field of law enforcement at Troy University, where she trained under Crenshaw County Sheriff Mickey Powell.

“I’m the first police officer in my family, mother’s and father’s side. When I was in high school people always asked me what I wanted to be, and I knew that I absolutely could not sit at a desk. So, I told everyone I wanted to be a game warden,” Farmer said.

“That’s where it started. I went to college, got into criminal justice and minored in geography. I went to the academy and got into police work.”

Farmer finished her training in 2014 and worked with the Troy University Police Department until this year.

Now that she is on the force, Farmer says her main concern is to focus on the drug problem in the area.

“I had a friend who killed himself over drugs, so it kind of changed me a bit. I want to be on the streets to try to clean up some of the drug problems we have,” Farmer said.

“It’s bad everywhere. People think in a small town that it’s not that bad, but it is. Behind the scenes of the better half of the town, the drugs are still there.”

Having known Farmer for years now, Powell is convinced that her work ethic and skills will be greatly appreciated on the force.

“Rachel and I worked together at Troy University; I was her training officer. I’ve known her for a while now. When she called me and asked me for a job, I didn’t hesitate. I see a lot of potential in her and she’s a go-getter,” Powell said.

“I think a female is vital to any department as far as law enforcement. We’ve never had one here in Crenshaw County, and arresting females, being able to frisk them now for guns is a big plus.”

While on the force, Powell says that one of Farmer’s jobs will be to work with the office’s public relations team. So far, Powell says he has been impressed with Farmer’s ability to learn quickly, adapt to her new location and form relationships with her fellow officers.

“I have to take being a woman with a grain of salt, because everyone looks at me quite differently. I know that at my first job after about a month people started saying I was very mean,” she said.

“It’s not that I’m mean. I just am very serious about it. I have to be very serious, especially being the only woman, because I’m looked at differently. I understand that fully. It’s a very nice thing being the first woman, because we need more of them.”