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Detective: Job is about helping people
Faces and Places
Hinesville Police Det. Sgt. Susie Jackson reviews a case file in her office. She is the only female detective on staff at HPD. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Name: Susie Jackson

Age: 47

Occupation: Detective sergeant of the Hinesville Police Department.
She is a native of Hinesville and an alumnus of Bradwell Institute

Family: Jackson is single but has dogs, a labrador puppy named Remington, and she cares for a shih-tzu named Mandy that once belonged to her father.

What made you decide to become an officer? “Before I got started in law enforcement I was a silk screen printer for a print graphics company. I knew some people in the police department and I would talk to them and I became interested in what they did. I became a reserve police officer. I would work part time with them on Friday and Saturdays and I just got more involved and more interested in what they did. So at 23 years old, I made a decision to try and become a police officer. They hired me and I’ve been here ever since.”
She worked as a patrol officer for 10 years and climbed the ranks to patrol sergeant, but had loftier goals.
“I always admired Maj. (Thomas) Cribbs,” she said, referring to the department’s chief investigator. “While I was on patrol Maj. Cribbs would come out and handle the calls and I was always very interested in what he did. Of course, he’ll tell you back in those days when he came out I would be on his heels. I mean if he stopped I would run into him... When the opening came up I thought well maybe I’ll put in for that ...”

What do HPD detectives cover?
“We have a rotating call schedule which each detective covers for a period of seven days. And of course in those seven days you can get any type of call, which could be a theft of $500 at Wal-Mart or somebody breaking into a house. I mean it could be just about anything, robbery, rape, murder.”
The detectives here do not specialize.
“Because we have a feel for all of it. It’s not like you are working just one type of crime you cover all of it.”

What sparked your interest in law enforcement?
“That is what you do, you help people. We are not all about writing tickets. We are not all about throwing somebody in jail. There are many people out there that you don’t hear from that we’ve helped.”

Does one case stand out for you?
“It didn’t really affect me,” she said recalling a specific murder case. “But it made me wonder why people do the things they do. Why can’t they stop long enough to think about what is fixing to happen. Some people act and then they think, ‘oh my God, what am I going to do.’ If they would just stop a minute and think of what the consequences are going to be ... I mean I just don’t get it.”
Jackson said crimes hurt more than those immediately involved. Families of victims and the criminals are also affected.

What is it like to solve a crime?

“It’s not like we are going to throw a party because the person was convicted. Honestly if you look at the whole picture it’s sad. Here is a person going to jail and (they) have spouses and kids that are left behind to deal with the problems. A lot of people look at me and think, ‘you’re a really hard person.’ At a point, yes, I am, but deep down inside I’ve got feelings too and it’s sad to see things like that happen.”

How does the public misread law enforcement officers?
“Sometimes they don’t see the good side of us or the fun side of us. People see us walking around with a gun and a badge and they think, ‘oh. I bet she is really mean.’ I have that reputation... but I’m probably more lenient than any officer here. There are some things I find a lot of humor in and there are things I can relate to because we were all kids once and did some crazy things.”
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