Dale and Erica Newman were chasing dreams of law enforcement careers at the police academy in 2005, but what each also found was a future partner.
“We had a lot of things in common,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Erica Newman said of Dale Newman, whom she married in October 2007.
She had been a bank teller and he had been working for John Deere in Grovetown when they decided they had put off their dreams of being in law enforcement for too long. Their paths first crossed when they enrolled in the police academy in 2005 and started volunteering as reserve deputies at Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Both were later hired full-time and moved through the road patrol to their current jobs with the department. Dale Newman, 37, is a crime suppression deputy and a K-9 handler, while Erica Newman, 34, is a property crimes investigator.
They eventually fell in love, married and had a son, Matthew.
“With both of us being in law enforcement, we kind of have an understanding of the job,” she said. “We know the job is demanding and sometimes you have to put work first. … We both have that understanding so neither one of us gets upset when we have to go.”
They both also understand the potential dangers.
“We’re obviously worried about safety,” he said. “We both have high risk jobs.”
“He tells me, ‘Always be safe and do whatever you have to do to come home at night,”’ Erica Newman said.
Despite the inherent risks of the job, neither considered asking the other to change careers.
With one working the day shift and the other working nights, the couple rarely work the same crime scene, but they try to meet each other for lunch or dinner dates during a shift.
“When we’re off, we like to make the most of it,” Dale Newman said. “We try to do as much as we can.”
They try to take at least one family vacation a year, but mostly they spend their spare time with family in Harlem, riding 4-wheelers and dirt bikes or washing their county cars and cleaning their equipment together.
“It usually ends up with us both talking a lot about work,” he said.