Keiser University Tallahassee student inspires young women as first female Gadsden County SWAT Team member
Keiser University student Stephanie Brown has had one goal for her future since she was a child.
That goal is to make a difference in her community and keep people safe.
“Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to be a homicide detective. I’ve always had this passion for law enforcement,” Brown said. “I enjoy helping people. I’ve always felt like, if I can make a difference in just one person’s life, then I’ve done something in life, I’ve accomplished something.
Brown began her career in law enforcement at the age of 19, working in corrections in her hometown of Gadsden County. After attending Law Enforcement Academy, Brown was hired by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office where she has worked for the last four years.
“My primary assignment is a bailiff. I’m in charge of the safety and security of the judges and the courthouse personnel,” Brown said. “I have worked patrol, I’ve had the opportunity to do school resource, I’ve had the opportunity to assist in the criminal investigation division, and I’ve helped out in our communications center, which is our dispatch center.”
While training for a multitude of departments within the agency has allowed her to become a well-rounded deputy, Brown says one opportunity has allowed her to also set an example for future generation of female law enforcement officers.
She is the first female on the Gadsden County SWAT Team.
It’s just something that I wanted to do, I went after it and I achieved my goal. To me, that’s a huge accomplishment,” Brown said. “When we think of law enforcement, we think of a male-dominated career, but women can do the same things as men can do. It is just rewarding to be able to give the younger generation, especially younger females, something to look forward to. Maybe if they see me, they’ll be like, well she accomplished this, I can do this. Anything is possible, I don’t have to limit myself.”
Eliminating the boundaries of her own limitations, Brown is now enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree program at Keiser University Tallahassee. She says she chose Keiser because of its flexible class schedule, allowing her to continue working for the sheriff’s office.
The Gadsden County deputy is also a recipient of the Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) Grant. The $2,000 grant is provided to eligible Florida residents attending a private college or university. Brown says the money helps her to continue following her dreams of earning a degree, and allows her to focus on her school work, instead of her finances.
“It alleviates the stress of the financial burden that you have,” Brown said. “Anything helps.”
One Brown earns her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, she plans to continue working in law enforcement, and eventually working her way up to be a homicide detective.
Her ultimate goal, though, is to continue working to make her community a better place, and start new community-based programs to improve the lives of Gadsden County residents.
“I really just want to be able to help my community, think of ways to better my community,” Brown said. “[This degree] allows you to promote, to have opportunities you might not necessarily have if you didn’t have a degree.”
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associate to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in providing Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Report in 2023.
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