MaKennah Walters of Prairie City, is the first female deputy to work for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.
Walters graduated from PCM Community School District and began her career with the sheriff’s department as a jailer. She worked in the Jasper County Jail for two-and-a-half years before making the transition to deputy.
Walters said she is familiar with the people and how the job works as she has been a jailer there since she was 19 years old.
“I am doing the same job the guys are, and I am going to do my best to keep up with them,” Walters said.
While Walters hasn’t had the opportunity to participate in a lot of shifts yet, she said working in the jail is different from patrolling in a squad car. Walters said it is nice to be able to patrol and go out and actually see what is going on.
“The jail is still law enforcement, people forget that, but being on the road is a whole different ballgame ... I like being able to go out and do different things,” Walters said.
Her decision to start as a jailer was tied to her wanting to get her foot in the door of the sheriff’s office and eventually become a patrolling officer.
“My game plan has always been to be patrol of some sort ... I knew starting in the jail would get me a foot in the sheriff’s office, it would get me experience,” Walters said.
As a certified defense tactics instructor giving her the ability to teach these skills to other deputies and members of the JCSO.
One thing Walters said will help her as she makes the transition to working outside of the jail is knowing some of the people the sheriff’s office works with.
“I’ve already dealt with some of the people that we deal with on the street. I have seen them when they are at their lowest quite frankly,” Walters said.
Walters talked about her future in law enforcement so close to home.
“I like Jasper County, I grew up in Jasper County. I think it’s great ... I could see myself here for the rest of (my career) until I retire,” Walters said.
Even though Walters is native to the area, she wants people to know that just because her job title is changing that doesn’t mean she will change.
“I was the same way in the jail. I always made sure they knew that if they needed something I’m right here, all ears, all the time. That’s my job and that’s who I am as a person,” she said.
Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty said Walters is being a dedicated employee and will be a good addition to the JCSO.
“She is the first female deputy in Jasper County Sheriff’s Office history, we are excited to give her this opportunity,” Halferty said.
Walters will be attending the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy at the end of August and return to the JCSO to continue her probationary period.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org