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More Women in the Force
12/29/09 - 06:16 PM
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Mary Scott Speigner - bio
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click for larger image Bay County, Fla:

The Panama City Police Department is now 10% women and while they may not seem like a lot, that’s the highest it’s ever been.

Captain Cathy Rausa and Corporal Brenda Pelfrey have worked their way up the ranks in their 20 plus years in law enforcement.  They both agree the times have changed.

“I had officers tell me they couldn’t wait to see me get in my first fight.  That always stuck in my mind because it made me feel like they didn’t trust me.  But then I had to prove myself that I could fight and I wasn’t afraid of breaking my fingernails and messing up my hair,” said Pelfrey.

They say when they started most of the women were dispatchers and secretaries.

“At that time I was probably one of maybe two sworn law enforcement at PBC…  You weren’t as easily accepted,” said Rausa.

Both of these women have proven they can stand up with the big boys.  Rausa worked her way from patrol to the third highest ranking officer at PCPD.  Palfrey was the first female K-9 handler in Bay County and has been a crime scene investigator for 9 years.

An up and coming officer, Corporal Edwina Crawford says she’s grateful for the women who opened the doors so she doesn’t have to face those same challenges.  She says she feels like everyone’s equal.

“They make me feel welcome.  They look out for me and I look out for them,” she said.

These women who put their lives on the line everyday feel like it’s something they were born to do.

“It’s in my heart to do it and my momma always said you can do anything you want to do,” said Pelfrey.

This trend isn’t just in Panama City; the Bay County Sheriff’s Office also has around 10% female sworn officers.

The Bay County jail has around 40% female detention officers and half of the graduating class in December at Gulf Coast Community College’s police standards class was women.

User Comments

I was deceived!  I clicked on this story hoping it was about more female Jedi Knights…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/30  at  12:15 PM


However why when a female cop makes a traffic stop they always send a male to back up? Not all but majority of female cops need male back up.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/30  at  11:38 AM
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