By Ebonee Burrell
With 208 consecutive years of men serving as sheriff and higher-ranked officers, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) broke with tradition last week and appointed the first female lieutenant in its history. MCSO held the ceremony to promote Sergeant Terri Hall to lieutenant at its downtown office on Jan. 23.
As the first female to hold this position, Hall described this moment as extremely rewarding because of the outpouring of recognition she has received.
“I am elated to be a part of this because we have the sheriff and the administration that recognizes each individual for their capabilities, determination and desire to serve Mobile County,” Hall said.
Hall is entering her 20th year in law enforcement. Throughout her journey, she has worked for numerous units, including criminal investigations, drug enforcement and the child advocacy center. Hall launched her career in the Mobile Police Department in 2000 and went to MCSO in 2004. She was also named Deputy of the Year in 2013. Before her promotion, she served as a sergeant for internal affairs.
Hall explained how she is ready for the new challenges that will come with her position as lieutenant. One of them is focusing on her determination to keep her unit informed about the latest trends in crime prevention and to close any gaps between MCSO and the community.
“Everything is always trending and there seems to always be new ways criminals devise new schemes,” she said. “We’re not just here to put people in jail. We’re here to come together and make this a better experience for all involved.”
Among those challenges, Hall set a goal for herself to recruit more females to join law enforcement. She believes women aren’t aware of the important roles they play inside the workplace and is hoping to change the public perception some may have that “law enforcement is never on our side.”
“This is my 20th year in law enforcement and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have learned so much and I am so grateful for all the family and friends I have made while here,” Hall explained. “And to be here today as the first female lieutenant, I am just elated that the sheriff and administration chose me. I hope this encourages other females to strive.”
Hall will begin her new assignment in the patrol unit. She wants others to understand that MCSO has an open door employment system and the opportunities are there for everyone.
“The sheriff’s office offers so many opportunities and we welcome everyone, but it’s just a matter of people coming out to join the team,” she explained. “And I just want others to understand that this is a great career.”
A total of 36 men have served as sheriff, with Sam Cochran serving as the current Mobile County sheriff. MCSO is the second-largest sheriff’s office in the state and has a staff of over 600 that serves more than 400,000 people.
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