She’s the exact opposite of most people’s idea of what a police officer should be. The first thing I noticed was the softness in her face, the brilliance of her blue eyes, her crown of beautiful blond locks and her angelic demeanor. My first thought was obvious, “How did you get into law enforcement?” I began.
Born To Do This
I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many who are in the field of law enforcement. One thing that many of the men and women have said to me was that it was “a calling” that they felt early in life or that they were “born to do this job”. Deputy Officer Angel Palmer-Lett began her career with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office more than 11 years ago. And she explained to me that her journey into law enforcement was not necessarily the same path as others.
“I never started off thinking, ‘I’m going to be a police officer,' it just kind of evolved, so I really don’t have the same mindset as a lot of people…I mean, I truly just want to help people.” –Deputy Palmer-Lett
The former patrol officer stated that she originally wanted to do search and rescue but that she began as a volunteer, doing fingerprints for children. Some time later, she transitioned into the Investigations Unit.
Officer Palmer-Lett expressed that the demands of her chosen career often leave her feeling guilty from the commitment of her first job, being a mother. “I guess because I feel like I’m supposed to be doing more for my kids and doing a job, I guess like a part time, like every time they have school functions and things that like and of course they have to go to after care for a couple extra hours a day so there are times that I think that I need to do more for them,” she confessed.
Before Palmer-Lett came aboard on the force, she was a stay-at-home mother and her primary role was devoted to a domestic capacity in her home. After the dissolve of her first marriage, the officer found herself in an unfamiliar position as a single-parent which demanded that she take on the role as the sole breadwinner for her family.
She said that the grueling schedule of a patrol officer has been the biggest challenge yet stating, “I went to the Police Academy which was really difficult because I have 2 boys. It was 12 weeks in Camden. You’re not allowed to leave until the weekend. It was like boot camp and it was really, really difficult but it was also such an accomplishment.”
Like A Girl
“I have a friend who's also a female officer who told me, 'You have to be twice as good as a man to be considered half as good (as a man),'" she declared. "The expectation for a female officer is that you can’t be mediocre. You have to prove yourself. You have to earn it, and even then, some people will never look at you as an equal and who don’t think that you should be here,” she adds. I asked her why she feels that she should be here. The deputy revealed to me that she brings a variety of things to the table that her male counterparts don’t. “There are a lot of people, especially victims that are afraid of men and the bigger they are, the more intimidating they seem. With domestic victims and things like that, if they’ve just gotten beat down by a man, then that’s probably the last person that they want to talk to about their problems. And they probably don’t think that a man will even sympathize with them,” she continues. In speaking with the officer, she brought up a great point in that women tend to be more subjective, which is typically an area where men lack. In order to be effective in this job, it’s important to have a healthy balance of the two. “I tend to be open-minded and wanting to de-escalate everything. Like, we don’t have anything to prove. Let’s not blow up and challenge everyone,” she proceeded. “Less ego,” I finished her sentence. She simply smiled.
Always an Adventure
"I have this gigantic gun and it's leopard print. And I love it," she remarked.
When Officer Lett is not working, she rides motorcycles, plays Legos and video games with her kids. She says that she's mastered Minecraft and spends the weekends searching for Pokémon with her oldest son.
"We have pets. Multiple cats, one dog and a gecko. I've had to resuscitate a lizard, do CPR on a bunny rabbit and I gave our kitten the Heimlich maneuver, so it seems like it's just always something. Having boys, there's always an adventure." -Deputy Palmer-Lett
Other than an Officer
Finally, I wanted to know from the officer, "(when you're officially off the clock) Are you more in mommy mode or are you more in officer mode?" I asked. Without a breath, she responded, "When you really think about it, officers are supposed to protect people. What do moms do? They are in the job of protecting, so really, it's perfect."
Me: If you weren't in law enforcement, what would you be doing?
Palmer-Lett: Probably something in photography because I used to develop pictures and worked in a lab. And a long time ago, I did some modeling for trade.
Modeling a women's desert eagle 50 caliber holster for sale on Gunbrokers.com
Reminiscent of one of Charlie's Angels
"I've been a dog groomer, a photographer. I was a letter carrier for the postal service. And even then, I would stop and help people who were having car trouble or needed help so that's what's so cool about doing this, it's like, I'm actually supposed to go do that, people call me! That's who they call, so how awesome is that to get paid for doing something that you love," she concluded.
Deputy Officer Angel Palmer-Lett, try saying that 3 times fast. She joked about another small challenge of being a woman officer, "Since my name is hyphenated and complicated most people at the office call me APL or AP&L (get it?)". That's just a little humor for those of us of a certain age who are old enough to remember the former utility company. Having encountered her in such a personal setting, I've decided on another name to call her for short, #OfficerAngel.
For it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully,' -Luke 4:10
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”- Hebrews 13:2
"For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To protect you wherever you go." -Psalms 91:11
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