When Mallory Campbell (TOP PHOTO) attends a conference, a quick look around the room let’s her know she is in the minority.
With the country’s workforce being comprised of 46-percent female, only 13-percent of law enforcement is female, according to data from the Criminal Justice School.
Campbell, a lieutenant at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, is among that 13-percent. She and five other women are among the supervisors at the county jail. Inside the concrete walls of the jail, the challenges faced by women in the workforce are amplified. If law enforcement is a predominately male profession, corrections is all the more.
“When you decide to be an officer you are walking into a man’s world,” Campbell said.
And while most departments would shy away from placing women in positions of power, Sheriff Robbie Goins and the CCSO doesn’t.
“I feel like the sheriff’s department is more open to promoting women,” she said.
For Campbell, multiple opportunities have opened to her since joining the CCSO seven years ago.
At that time she was working in loss prevention at a national chain store “catching thieves.” When a position opened at the jail, even though it was third shift, she took it.
With a degree in criminal justice from Lincoln Memorial University, it seemed like the job was the next step. “I knew I needed my start,” Campbell said.
And while that was her first foray into public service, helping those who need it has always been a motivator for her. “I hate bullies and people who prey on the weak,” she said. “By joining law enforcement I get to stop some of that.”
Since she worked that first graveyard shift, Campbell has proven herself to be a leader.
In the fall, she completed a grueling seven-week program at the Walter’s State Police Academy where she became POST certified.
Becoming POST certified is usually a step towards becoming a road officer; not for Campbell. Instead, she has been designated as the in-house detective for the jail.
“We have cases such as assaults and drug offenses that needed to be investigated within the walls of the jail. Mallory brings skills, determination and professionalism to everything she does. It was a logical move,” Sheriff Goins said.
Not only does she investigate crimes at the jail, she is also the training officer. Whether it is new hires or ongoing training, Campbell is ensuring the officers keep their certifications current. “She is vital to our corrections program,” the sheriff said.
Along with these duties, she also serves as the law enforcement liaison for the Eight Judicial Recovery Court.
“I’ve always been told a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
“Mallory does this every day when she invests time in the people that work under her,” said Chief Deputy Jeremy Goins. “Her leadership style speaks volumes of her work ethic and it passes through to other corrections officers.”
Working in a male driven field, the hurdles women sometimes have to cross seem insurmountable. Add in being a single parent and those hurdles can get tougher to cross.
Campbell, a single parent, said her job sometimes means making sacrifices to serve her community. This is the part of the job that can take her away from her children and that part is the hardest part.
But when her son, who loves superheroes, asks her if she caught the “bad guy” and she says yes, Campbell knows her job it isn’t just the public she is serving. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/07/2018-6AM)