Sometimes it's easier to teach your kids right and wrong when you arrest people for a living.
That has been the experience so far for Melissa Ewest, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy and mother of three children.
Ewest has carried a badge and sidearm for five years, but her experience in the motherhood department goes back to her daughter's birth 11 years ago.
She just returned from maternity leave after the birth of her son, now 3 months old.
Public service runs in Ewest's family, and she thrives in a job that lets her help the community.
She recalls a burglary in progress she responded to a few years back in a neighborhood that she patrols off Wrightsboro Road. The burglar had escaped in a little truck loaded with the property he had stolen from a woman's garage: power tools and golf clubs.
Ewest spotted the truck spewing black smoke as it struggled under the load. A thrilling police chase this was not.
"I don't think we topped 35 mph," Ewest said with a smile.
It's the sense of catching the bad guy and returning all of the owner's belongings that draws her to work every day, and she's just as proud to be a mother.
"I have to brag on my kids," Ewest said. "I love them and everything they do."
She and her husband are patrol deputies. She works days; he works nights. What they lack in family time during the week is made up during the three-day weekends they have off together.
The older children, ages 9 and 11, want to know about her day when she gets home: whether she was in danger, the reports she wrote, the arrests she made. She shares the highlights and whatever is appropriate for children's ears.
Some stories are funny, such as the man whose pants fell down during a foot chase.
The stories she brings home, however, also serve as lessons in right and wrong and about the consequences for a person's actions.