TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - She’s a rarity. Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn is one of the only female Sheriffs in Kansas.But she says gender doesn’t matter when you love your job.
“It’s either you like this job or you don’t like this job,” said Dunn.
She’s loves it so much, that for the past 36 years, held nearly every position at the Sheriff Office.
“Be a dispatcher, and I worked in the jail. Then I ran the jail for quite a few years, and I was working sex crimes and child abuse cases when I was a dispatchers,” she said.
Sheriff Dunn doesn’t have as much manpower to delegate duties, like a larger agency, so everyone does a little of everything. Even take out the trash.
“The court house custodians come up 1 day for an hour or two,” Dunn explained.
But small numbers don’t stop her staff from doing the work any law enforcement agency would do. Protecting the community.
“My job is for the citizens,” said Dunn. "We don’t make everybody happy. I don’t make everybody happy. And it was real hard when I ran for office, that there's so many people, you know, that didn’t think that a woman should be running an office like this, and I kinda had to prove my point. Not really a point, but prove that I could do it, and it’s going well.”
Dunn became Sheriff back in 2005, and is currently serving her 4th term. She says while there is a prejudice, she hopes to inspire others, and future generations that a woman can do anything.
“It shouldn’t matter if you’re male or female, as long as you can do the job. Women can do anything a man can do. If you’re a woman or young girl, that you can do anything. I think that’s what has helped me,” Dunn expressed.
She says the calls thanking her and her staff are what keep her going.
“A phone call I took Monday, he’s like, we think you’re doing a great job. I’ve talked to my neighbor. They think you’re doing a great job. To get that, 36 and a half years after you've been here and 4 terms as a Sheriff, that puts a little smile on your face, and makes your giddy up wanna get up and go,” Dunn explained.
Sheriff Dunn says she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. She said she’s been told she could be a Wal-Mart Greeter after she retires, but is worried that she’d get fired for chasing after someone who might steal from the store.