STB: Osage Co. Sheriff's Deputy strives to help people in more ways than one

LYNDON, Kan. (WIBW) -- Osage County Sheriff's Deputy Kayla McNary said joining law enforcement was a no-brainer.

"A lot of people have single moment that made them want to be in law enforcement and I don’t really have that,” McNary said. “It’s just something I always something I knew I wanted to do.”

She earned a criminal justice degree and found her way to Osage County. McNary realized her calling of helping people could go beyond law enforcement; she now also fosters children with behavioral issues

"I always had a soft spot for kids in my heart,” McNary said. “And I feel like we all have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and that was just an area I felt I could.”

McNary started fostering two months ago and is licensed to take care of up to four kids at a time.

"Sometimes we don't realize that kids are people too and they have bad days,” McNary said. “I think I’m qualified to sit down with them and realize that we can work through any challenges they have.”

She said dealing with children who have behavioral troubles can be a challenge, because each child is different, but she is up to the task.

"One kid may end up throwing temper tantrums and it may work for that kid to go to their room and cool off,” McNary said. “Another kid might have a different response when that kid gets angry and you just got to take the time to get to know each individual kid."

McNary said she finds parallels between fostering children and patrolling Osage County streets.

"You don't always have to be tough cop,” McNary said. “We just get to walk in on a small portion of someone’s life and it’s easy to sit on the outside and not know everything that’s going on and make a decision just based on that, but if you just take a step back and take a minute to realize, we're just walking in on a small portion in that person’s life."

McNary’s drive to help people is a natural instinct.

"As a human being it’s my responsibility to do what I can to make a difference in people’s lives,”McNary said. “If I can make a difference in even one kid’s life it’s worth it.”