Thread: Law Lady With Badge & Pen
04-02-2012, 06:01 AM #1
Law Lady With Badge & Pen
I read about walton county sheriffs office representative - investigator wendy ammons in this week's defuniak herald. as a seventh generation florida cracker near alabama i see miss. wendy hails from a long line of law enforcement. she also wrote a novel. as a known geezer here in the liberty community i'm ready to vote for this beautiful smart lady to be our sheriff next sheriff.
04-02-2012, 11:29 AM #2
She's a pistol and quite on-top of her new job. I enjoyed interviewing her. Glad you liked the article. :)
04-02-2012, 12:45 PM #3
Can you post it?
04-02-2012, 01:34 PM #4
I'll try to get a copy of the article up by tomorrow morning.
04-02-2012, 05:47 PM #5
She would make a great sheriff or undersheriff. Great person to talk too!
04-03-2012, 09:26 AM #6
Have gun, will write
By ALICIA LEONARD and the DeFuniak Herald Beach Breeze
Investigator Wendy Ammons is no stranger to wearing many different hats in life. As the new Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO), as well as a published novelist, second generation law enforcement officer and active Internal Affairs Investigator, Ammons knows that diversity can be a very good thing.
Ammons started out early with a love for law enforcement. Ammons is a self-professed "Daddy's girl." Her father, Robert Baxter, was the police chief in Chipley, Fla., for many years. The eight-year veteran of the WCSO found her calling in life at a young age. "It was not odd for me as a little girl to go with my dad to the jail, or city hall or sit in his office with him," she recalled. She received her associate's degree from Chipola College before moving on to Florida State University (FSU) for a degree in criminology.
A life in law enforcement was not exactly what her daddy had in mind for her. "We always sat around the dinner table and watched the 5:30 news. News was very important in our family. I told my dad, 'I think I'm going to go into criminology.' " This didn't sit too well with Ammons' father at first, and after expressing concerns for her safety pointed to the TV and said, "You could be like them," he told her, motioning at the reporters on the afternoon air waves. Ammons decided to "go for it" anyway, but also took journalism classes while earning her degree for law enforcement. "I thought, at least as an officer, I have ways to defend myself. I have back-up," she said with a laugh.
Ammons started out as a deputy in south Walton, and moved onto the position of Field Training Officer (FTO), then as the first female in the Traffic Enforcement Unit, onto the criminal investigations unit with a special focus on "crimes against children" and then into a role as the first female in Internal Affairs(IA). Ammons, for the time being, will be working both IA and as PIO.
During her years in college she also found her voice as a writer. Her first novel The Plan is a murder mystery set in a fictional Southern town in the '40s. She wrote the majority of The Plan as a student and then put it away, but pulled it back out and finished up the work in 2009 after positive feedback from players in the literary arena. In 2011, she released The Lesson, part two of The Honeysuckle Chronicles. Both can be found on Amazon.com by searching for W. Charlene Ammons.
Ammons is embracing her new role as PIO and terms like "professionalism" and "mentoring" pepper her conversation when speaking about the future. "Internships and mentoring is something the sheriff would really like to see us get started, and something that I am very excited about," she said. "The new Mentors Offering Real-World Education(MORE) program that was just started by FSU focuses on women looking at careers in criminology. Along with participating in MORE, we're hoping as well to participate in an internship program to allow students to get an idea of all the different areas in law enforcement that are open to them, that they will get some real world experience and ideas as far as what their potential jobs could entail and we're excited to be working with colleges like Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) and FSU to do that."
Another program that Ammons is busy getting the word out on is the new tip line started by the WCSO. "Lt. Bruce Maddox is in charge of our new tip lines. It's anonymous. You don't have to give your name. But we do need callers to be as specific as possible. The more specific, the better chance we have of building a solid case. It's not just for narcotics. It can be for anything a citizen might think is important for our office to know. But, the more details callers can leave, the better chance for our investigators to be able to get the case to a prosecution." Citizens can call (850) 951-4931 or extension 11109 after dialing the main office number (850) 892-8186.
Even though Ammons is a busy officer, wearing many different hats, she is enjoying life in the country in Ponce De Leon with her husband, Bryan, and their "furkid." Shortly after accepting the role as PIO, Ammons had a bittersweet moment. Her hero, her dad, passed away around a month ago, and she, after appearing on-camera as the new PIO thought back to that afternoon, sitting around the dinner table with her father, while he worried about his little girl wanting to be a police officer.
"I thought, if he would just have been able to stick around for just a little while longer, he could have seen me on TV. I really have the best of both worlds with this new opportunity. I get to be in law enforcement and a journalist." This reporter has the feeling that Robert Baxter got to see that moment and will get to see many more as his daughter becomes the information conduit between the WCSO and the residents of Walton County and northwest Florida.
To find out more about services and community outreach offered by the WCSO, go to www.waltonso.org.
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