Tracey Brewer and Danya Chance are giving back to their community as new officers at the Wadesboro Police Department.
The process to become an officer includes the completion of a police application, passing a complete background investigation that consists of psychological and medical testing, attending 676 hours of Basic Law Enforcement Training from a law enforcement academy or a community college, and passing the state exam.
Brewer attended Anson County Early College, obtaining an Associate in Arts degree from South Piedmont Community College, before moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Pfieffer University. She also was a freelance reporter for the Record.
Brewer said going through BLET was a “long and tiring process,” but she was determined to finish. She also said that she knew that at the end of the 16-week long process, she would have achieved one of the biggest goals of her life.
“Like in any new endeavor, there are always times when things become difficult,” she said. “With the support of my friends, family, and the backing of everyone at Wadesboro Police Department, I was able to push through the hard times, and graduate at the end of the BLET program.”
Brewer said that she loves being a new officer. Everyday she’s able to learn something new and then use that knowledge to become better equipped in answering calls and serving the public in a positive manner.
“Being a new officer is fun because every call and situation is new to you,” she said. “As new officers, we don’t really know anybody yet, so we are able to be a new face for the public.”
Brewer said that she’s always wanted to be a police officer since she was little.
“There’s nothing else I’ve wanted to do,” she said. “I believe that it is important to give back to your community, and the best way that I was able to give back was to become a police officer in the community that I grew up in.”
In addition to being a “positive influence in the community,” Brewer said she eventually wants to become a K-9 handler.
“I’ve always had the upmost respect for police officers and everything that they do for their citizens,” Brewer said. “Becoming an police officer myself, and really seeing everything that they have to do, has only increased my respect of officers everywhere.”
Chance said she grew up wanting to help people.
Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, she moved to Anson County as a teen and graduated in 2012 from Anson High School.
While taking a criminal justice class her freshman year at UNC-Charlotte, she said she fell in love with the criminal justice system.
“In doing research, I pondered what career I could do that I allowed me to deal with people face-to-face every day because that’s how I wanted to help people,” she said. “It was either the military or law enforcement.”
Chance was hired by the department as a cadet while still in BLET, which she said motivated her to finish.
Before she started the process, Chance said that, like most people, she thought that police officers were “machines almost,” being here for one thing only: to lock people up and take them to jail.
“Now that I am an officer, I realize that we have it a lot tougher than people realize,” she said. “People think that we can do what we want, but we have policies, rules, laws … and are under stricter set of guidelines about how we have to act in public and present ourselves, especially now.”
Chance said that she has realized is that going to a call is hard because sometimes officers don’t want to take people to jail, and car wrecks take their toll.
“Sometimes, it really hurts when you have to do your job,” she said.
Chance said that she has also learned that when the work day is over, officers have to shut everything down before they deal with own families.
“You don’t want to take work to your home,” she said. “At the end of the day, we are doing what we love, and I hope that everyone with a badge also does it because it’s their passion.”
Chance said that she’s received such positive responses from everyone she’s come across, and has been welcomed as an officer with open arms.
“I thank God, the mayor, the chief and the town of Wadesboro for believing in and giving me this opportunity.” Chance said.
Chief Thedis Spencer said he is “very proud” of the new officers’ accomplishments and for choosing to start their careers with the Wadesboro Police Department.
“They’re very eager to serve, learn, and gain knowledge of what it takes to prepare them for ethical challenges they face during their careers,” Spencer said.
The department still has positions to fill and is currently taking applications.