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First female officer makes waves in Hephzibah

Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:24 PM
Last updated Sunday, April 13, 2014 12:49 AM
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is part of an ongoing series on area law enforcement officers.

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Officer Emerald Hambrick started as a reserve officer at the Hephzibah Police Department before joining full time.  CHRIS ALUKA BERRY/SPECIAL
CHRIS ALUKA BERRY/SPECIAL
Officer Emerald Hambrick started as a reserve officer at the Hephzibah Police Department before joining full time.

It only took one day for Emerald Hambrick to prove her value to the Hephzibah Police Department.

On her first call as a reserve officer with the department, she and two other officers were called to a fight within the Hephzibah city limits. When Chief Dwayne Flowers arrived on scene, his jaw dropped.

“By the time I and another officer got there, she had already beat us there and already had a person in handcuffs,” he said. “She’s not scared and she works hard.”

Hambrick, 25, would later become Flowers’ first hire. Hambrick is likely the only full-time female officer the department has ever had, he said.

Hambrick said she can trace her love of law enforcement back to her time in college, where she took a class that required students to volunteer. Hambrick chose the Swainsboro Police Department, and was hired to work as the department’s secretary.

After nearly nine months of listening to officers’ stories, she decided that she had found something she enjoyed, and enrolled in the law enforcement academy at Ogeechee Technical College in 2010.

“It just sounded fun,” she said. “The officers would come in with search warrants and I would tell them, ‘Take me. I want to go.’”

Hambrick landed her first job in law enforcement at the Wadley Police Department, where she remained until she joined the Hephzibah Police Department in September 2012.

In her short time with law enforcement, she said she enjoys knowing that her actions can impact Hephzibah citizens in a positive way.

“The best part about it, to me, is helping people even when they don’t know that you’re doing it to help them,” she said. “Nobody looks at a speeding ticket and says, ‘Boy, that ticket really helped me.’ I might have saved a life, but no one ever looks at it like that.”

Hambrick recalled a Hephzibah woman who was verbally abusive toward her mother and addicted to drugs. After a violent tirade, Hambrick arrested the woman for making terroristic threats, sending her to jail but ultimately putting the woman on the road to recovery.

“Her mom, every time I see her, just says that jail changed her life,” Hambrick said. “She’s over her addiction.”

Hambrick’s ability to engage citizens isn’t her only good trait, Flowers said.

“She’s self-motivated,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about her. As a matter of fact, her motivation pushes the other officers to step it up.”

Though it’s hard to escape the stress of law enforcement, even at her Midville, Ga., home – her husband, Phillip, is a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy – she said she keeps her sights set on why she decided to wear the badge.

“We do what we do because we’re trying to help,” Hambrick said.

EMERALD HAMBRICK

AGE: 25

FAMILY: Husband, Phillip

LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE: Attended the law enforcement academy at Ogeechee Technical College and took a job at the Wadley Police Department in June 2010. She joined the Hephzibah Police Department in September 2012.

LIFE BEFORE LAW: Worked as a secretary for the Swainsboro Police Department. Earlier, she worked at a restaurant, a pharmacy and a car dealership.

Comments (12) Add comment
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TrulyWorried
14069
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TrulyWorried 04/12/14 - 05:41 pm
4
1
Haphzibah Lady Cop

Hats off - good job and we need more like you!

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 04/12/14 - 05:43 pm
3
7
Brainwashed already

"“Nobody looks at a speeding ticket and says, ‘Boy, that ticket really helped me.’ I might have saved a life, but no one ever looks at it like that.”

"I'm doing this to help you." Righty-O!

rebellious
20685
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rebellious 04/12/14 - 08:11 pm
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1
Officer Hambrick

is stand up. Even when patrolling with radar, she puts the car in plain view. Might not make sense, but if the intent is to slow people down and not simply to write tickets, she achieves the former rather than the latter. And with a heavy foot, even I recognize and appreciate that. Hey IAD, slow down through this neck of the woods, that is if you even know where the City of Hephzibah city limits are! The life you save may be your own. And if you consider asking people to obey the law for automobile speed "Brainwashing", well don't know what that says about you. I really do know, but I won't say on this forum, cause that wold be rude.

itsanotherday1
42901
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itsanotherday1 04/12/14 - 11:23 pm
2
5
Rebel. The whole idea that

Rebel. The whole idea that they are there for my safety is hogwash. I am not denigrating this officer, she may be the next supercop; but the idea they are handing out speeding tickets for the safety of the offender is ludicrous on its face.

Just yesterday, I saw a HORDE of County mounties this side of Greensboro with cars pulled over. I was running 73-75, and the cars I overtook vs those passing me was 1:25, if not more. Except for one, I can't say that any were threatening the safety of the rest of us.

These guys were just ringing up the cash register under the guise of "keeping us safe".

When was the last time you heard of a crash on I-20 where speed was listed as the cause? It is RARE.

Yea, write me a ticket because you are concerned for MY safety....... I call bull you know what.

Just tell the truth; you are in it because you enjoy popping law breakers.

itsanotherday1
42901
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itsanotherday1 04/12/14 - 11:29 pm
2
2
I might add, going to Atlanta

I might add, going to Atlanta the traffic was fairly moderate, and I was impressed at the compliance of keeping right. Whether people heard about the upcoming law, read conversation about it, or the stars and moon were just aligned, there weren't many "knots" of cars where some dummy in the left lane thought they were exercising their right to tee everyone else off. As I said many more passed me than me them, so I watch a lot of folk come by me, pull to the right, and let traffic behind them proceed on.

nocnoc
42468
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nocnoc 04/13/14 - 06:56 am
4
1
OK she passed GA-LEO certification

and she is doing her job.

I wish her well and may all her patrols be safe.

But as far as things go for Hephzibah, I see their police officers more on US-25 or near there on Hwy 88 issuing speeding tickets, than I do in town.

Hephzibah has become ARC version of Harlem GA.

Airman
3764
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Airman 04/13/14 - 08:42 am
2
1
itsanotherday1

To answer your question, "When was the last time you heard of a crash on I-20 where speed was listed as the cause? It is RARE." Early afternoon April 12th 2014. One dead, one critical, two serious injuries. Traffic backed up both directions for hours, Mile marker 112 pretty close to where you were. The fatality was driving east bound when hit by the out of control west bound

nocnoc
42468
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nocnoc 04/13/14 - 09:44 am
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1
Mile marker 112

Just N-NW of Madison Ga (114)

From 94 to 144 this week Gods Special People and County Mounties and Local Yokels have been teaming up to run 1 /3 /2 Traps.
1 unit spots and radios in speeders
3 do the stop and ticket.
2 more further down the road, around the next curve stopping those
that figure they were safe and put the hammer down.

Friday around 4:30pm coming back from treatment in Atlanta.
We got passed by a BMW (why does it always seem to be BMWs) . The BMW was doing Mach 1, we laughed when we saw it pulled over a few miles down the road and driver out and up against the car.

nocnoc
42468
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nocnoc 04/13/14 - 10:03 am
3
1
BTW: Between Greensboro and Thomson

has the most organized Speed traps.
thats around mile markers 135 to 165.

Oh! and using a modified Escort detector seems to help a lot also.

JRC2024
8847
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JRC2024 04/13/14 - 10:22 am
1
1
nocnoc, I understand they are

nocnoc, I understand they are using Laser. You need a laser jammer for that. By the time the Escort goes off you are had.

nocnoc
42468
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nocnoc 04/13/14 - 03:14 pm
1
1
Not Just Laser (LiDAR)

depending on the location KA, KU, Laser all lit up yesterday.
As far as the accurate range of Laser range.

Under OCGA Laser (Lidar) can only be used at a max distance of a thousand feet. The part many LEO's forget or hope Drivers don't know, is a driver shall have a 500 foot unobstructed view of the officer see O.C.G.A. § 40-14-(1 to 17)

So this does not give much time for aiming on the part of the officer.

BTW:
IF more drivers knew about OCGA § 40-14-9 they could beat a lot of
RCSO tickets.

JRC2024
8847
Points
JRC2024 04/13/14 - 08:05 pm
0
0
Don't you just hate the way

Don't you just hate the way they do speed traps.

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