Commonwealth Journal

Features

February 15, 2012

A Sister Among Brothers-In-Arms

Courtney Brittle is first female officer to join SPD in 20 years

Somerset — Somerset Police Department on Monday officially welcomed the first female officer in nearly two decades into its family.

“Make no bones about it, we take care of each other as brothers, and we’ll take care of our sister too,” said Acting SPD Police Chief Major Doug Nelson during Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting.

Newest SPD officer Courtney Brittle took the Oath of Office during the meeting from Pulaski District Court Judge Jeffrey Scott Lawless with a generous number of family and friends in attendance.

Lawless attended the meeting Monday as part of Boy Scout Troop 184.

Brittle is a Somerset native, and she graduated from Somerset High School in 2002.

“I’m just glad to see someone have a vested interest in the city they grew up in and went to school,” said Councilor Tom Eastham after the ceremony wrapped up.

Brittle graduated from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Basic Training Class #430 on Friday, Feb. 10 after spending 18 weeks there in training.

While in the academy, Brittle received the Physical Fitness Excellence Award and was Special Projects Officer for her class.

Brittle is only the second female officer ever to serve with SPD, and the first in nearly 20 years. A quick search of Commonwealth Journal archives also revealed that Brittle is the first black female officer to serve with SPD.

“I think everybody wants a profession where you’re giving back and helping people,” Brittle said, when asked why she chose to enter into the police force. “ ... I want to be able to give back to the community I grew up in.”

Brittle is married to Desmond Brittle and has two children, Atticus, 6, and Broderick, 4.

When asked what her two young sons think of their mother’s new profession, Brittle smiled.

“They said ‘mommy, that’s awesome,’ especially when I got my cruiser,” Brittle said. “It was certainly an adjustment while I was gone ... but now, mommy is cool.”

Brittle said the 18 weeks away from her family compounded the difficult nature of her training, but she said her husband, who has served in the military, has supported her fully.

Brittle said being a female in a male-oriented profession can have its difficulties, but she said she’s proven herself in academy — and she plans to do that on the streets.

“You definitely have to prove yourself maybe a little more than the others, but of course we all have to prove ourselves,” Brittle said. “It’s not about whether or not I think I can do it, but whether others think I can do it.”

Brittle said she was one out of two women who graduated in her 25-member class in the academy.

Brittle will now begin the 14-week field training program during which she will be paired with a veteran officer before being released for solo patrol.

“When you give me your daughter, your kids, they have to be trained, (and) they have to be taken care of, and I take that serious,” said Nelson, speaking to Brittle’s family during the city council meeting. “I’m going to take care of her and the guys will too.”

Brittle is the daughter of Wardell McAdoo and Debra Strunk. She’s also the step-granddaughter of Rev. Walter R. Munday, who served as pastor of the Davis Chapel AME Church of Somerset for more than 20 years and was a well-loved community member.

The council offered their congratulations to Brittle on Monday.

“The years will fly by,” said Councilor Jim Rutherford, a former SPD officer. “Enjoy every minute of it. It’s an honorable profession.”

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