Dothan's First Female Officer Retires

You may have seen her face walking into the front doors of the Dothan Police Department. She sat at the front desk and took complaints and helped residents file charges.

You may even remember her from an incident in September: passengers of a car that had been pulled over for driving erratically, sped off, side swiping Dothan Police Sergeant Deborah Devane in a ditch.

A renaissance woman she is, now Devane is leaving that part of her life behind and focusing on a new full-time job: a mother to her 13-year-old teenage daughter Whitney.

"I have worked the school system for 10 years, while I've been a police officer and I just think that, that age, the pre-teen and teenagers range, I need to be at home and I need to be able to be there for whatever she needs," said Devane.

In a retirement ceremony held Thursday afternoon, current Police Chief John Powell spoke of Devane's positive efforts within the police department and community, while the chief who hired her, Kader Williams, spoke of the backlash he received for hiring Dothan’s first female police officer. Soon, however, everyone caught on to the idea.

"I put my application in and there were no females and I wanted to accomplish something that hadn't been accomplished, and I did that," said Devane.

However, Sergeant Devane laid the ground work for other minorities in the police department; 11 females and nearly a dozen minorities.

"I think that she's probably one of the leaders that led to promotional opportunities for females and for minorities in general," said Chief Powell.

Before coming to Dothan, Devane worked in various probationary roles in Indiana. Her husband, Lieutenant Stan Devane retired from the police department in 2003.

Sergeant Devane says the first thing she and Whitney will do is get in lots of Christmas shopping.