BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Class is in session at the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s training academy in Plain Dealing.
Recruits are undergoing 16 weeks of intense training to become Louisiana Peace Officers Standards and Training certified law enforcement officers.
They’re learning survival skills, legal issues, weapons qualifications, non-lethal force and so much more. But the students aren’t the only ones with a lot on their plate.
“Being the mother of four kids, and working full-time here at the sheriff’s office, and being married to a sheriff’s deputy is quite trying at times,” said Captain Sarah Rhodes, the academy’s director.
Captain Rhodes has served with the sheriff’s office for 13 years. She got into law enforcement after her husband took a job with the sheriff’s office as a deputy. She left behind a nine-to-five job for a career that makes her feel alive.
“15 years ago if you would’ve told me I was going to be a Captain at the Bossier Sheriff’s office I would’ve laughed at you, and said no way,” said Rhodes. “But it’s always funny how God’s plans are greater than those of any that we could have.”
Those plans have her teaching 21 recruits, from 11 different law enforcement agencies, five days a week.
Then she goes home to give her family everything they need.
“I can’t say that I always do the balance well. Often times it seems that the week tips one way or the other,” said Rhodes. “We are imperfect people trying to do the right thing.”
Her family knows it and so does the community.
“Our interactions in the Bossier Parish community are still incredibly positive. We always get support. I always hear from people who say, ‘We’ve got your back,'” she said. “We make mistakes, we do. But on a daily basis our goal is to serve you. To protect you. And to just do what is right. And that is what we strive for.”
Her little ones are taking note. One has already expressed an interest in following in mom and dad’s footsteps.
“The youngest of the four has expressed interest in wanting to be in law enforcement,” Rhodes said. “But all of my children express the interest in service. They understand the importance of helping and serving people. And that’s all that we stress in our household.”