A Day in the Life- BCSO Deputy Michelle Carrier
After being able to sit in with the Central Records and Communications center in Texarkana, I started wondering what things were like for the officers being sent out to the emergency calls. Well thanks to the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, I had the opportunity to ride along with one of our very own BCSO deputies, Michelle Carrier, and let me tell you it was quite the eye opening experience. Thankfully there were no car chases, robberies, or shootings, but I did witness a drug arrest where a K-9 unit had to be called in to locate the drugs on an individual that refused a consent to search. As an outsider stepping into a shift, even what seem like the most mundane traffic stops can be interesting.
Spending a mere three hours riding in the police vehicle, I was able to catch a very small glimpse of the range of duties carried out by the BCSO. Although media portrayal of law enforcement has been negative as of late, these hardworking men and women put their lives on the line each and every day to ensure the people in our community are safe and secure.
Months of training are required in order to become a peace officer; even after graduating from the police academy there are weeks or months, depending on experience, of additional training a potential deputy must go through before being allowed to be alone on the streets.
Once an official deputy, 12 hour shifts are worked in which they are assigned a beat. There are four beats that the Sheriff’s Office covers, which span across the estimated 923 square miles that is Bowie County. For each shift, there are only four to five deputies on duty available to cover this area, not including city police departments.
These officers must answer to a diverse number of calls, ranging from tripped alarms, domestic encounters, traffic stops, welfare checks, emergency situations, hospital psychiatric holds, issues at the jail, and the list goes on and on. During my time with Michelle, we made several stops and drove countless miles to ensure the people of Bowie County were safe and taken care of.
When speaking about her job, Michelle mentioned that she wished, “people knew how hard we work for them and how often we put our own safety and well being on the line for others. We truly give a part of ourselves in what we do for this county and I wish people could see it through our eyes.”
Michelle is no stranger to the ins and outs of law enforcement; before becoming a Texas Peace Officer for Bowie County, she worked for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office for about a year, and for both New Boston Police Department and Texarkana Communications Center as a telecommunications specialist. She made the decision in 2012 that she wanted to physically be there for the people on the other end of 9-11 calls, and enrolled in the police academy.
Upon graduating from the East Texas Police Academy in Kilgore, TX in July of 2012, she began working for the Maud Police Department where she stayed just over a year. She then started as a Reserve Deputy with the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office in 2013, but it wasn’t until meeting with Sheriff James Prince in 2014 that she was offered and accepted a full time patrol deputy position with the BCSO, even receiving a Lifesaving award and Officer of the Year for 2015.
Although being a deputy can be mentally and physically exhausting, Michelle truly has a passion for what she does and even expressed, “My favorite part is being able to make a difference in people's lives; from the smallest things to moments of significance. I feel like what we do matters on many levels.”
The Bowie County Sheriff’s Office and the work performed by individuals within the department is monumental and though the majority of the time these individuals do not get the praise and recognition they deserve, they proudly risk their lives and serve Bowie County for the betterment of the people in our community.