Meet Brentwood’s first female Police detective


Meet Brentwood’s first female Police detective

Earlier this year the Brentwood Police Department staffed its first ever female detective, Lori Russ.

Earlier this year the Brentwood Police Department staffed its first ever female detective, Lori Russ.

Russ has been with Brentwood Police for the past 11 years, having spent more than 10 years prior to that with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department. She’s been a field training officer, a crime scene technician, a crisis negotiator, a domestic violence instructor and a bike patrol member, and in February Russ added detective to her resume.

“It’s definitely been a learning curve after spending 15, 16 years in patrol,” she said. “Some cases are similar to what I’d deal with while I was on the streets, but some cases require a lot more digging and investigation. Before, I didn’t really have to ask for much help on things because I had been doing it for so long. Now, that’s been a little bit of a challenge to know when I need to ask for help on something.”

Before her promotion, Russ said that she was looking forward to a change in uniform as well as a schedule that allowed her to sleep later than 4 a.m.

“I’m surprised by it, but I actually miss putting on my uniform,” she said. “I still get up at 4 a.m. on a lot of days to go work out with my husband, but I also am able to be there when my kids wake up and get them out the door to school on time. I am loving having weekends off. The first few Sundays I had off were such a joy.”

Russ’ career in law enforcement has spanned more than 20 years, and she’s spent that time raising three children in addition to taking an active, take-charge approach to her work. She’s a gardening fan and a mother, and at the same time she’s an officer with ambition in a field that’s dominated by men.

“I pretty much always knew I wanted to be a police officer,” Russ said. “My dad was in law enforcement. He always had karate studios growing up too and I had a lot of early influences as far as law enforcement officers goes. Police officers and troopers and stuff like that were just always awesome to be around to me, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.”

As Brentwood’s first female detective, Russ said that the comraderie among the detectives and lieutenants has empowered her in her new position.

“Anything I’ve needed, they’re there to help,” she said. “Since I know domestic violence training, I’m going to be handling more cases like that and sex abuse, which I’m really thankful for. I don’t think it really has anything to do with me being a woman, given my training, but I think that as a woman I bring a different kind of sensitivity to cases like that.”

As of 2007, the most recent data available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, local police departments average about 12 percent of women in their ranks. 11.2 percent of sheriff’s officers were women, and 6.5 percent of state police officers were women.

The department accepts applications for Police Officer positions on a continuing basis, but have already started this year’s testing process for candidates.

The testing process to become a police officer includes a physical fitness test, wellness exam, two face-to-face interviews with panels, an interview with Hughes, a polygraph exam, extensive background checks, medical physical exams and a psychological investigation.

After that there’s basic training at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and 20 weeks of field training. In 2014, sworn officers attended 6,702 training hours divided among the 56 sworn officers at that time.

Benefits of the profession include 12-18 days of paid vacation annually, paid sick days, educational pay supplements, tuition reimbursements, paid holidays, health insurance and life insurance at no cost to the employee, a retirement plan and even a no-cost YMCA membership, among others.

Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at samantha@brentwoodhomepage.com or on Twitter @samanthahearn.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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