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Chief deputy breaks stereotypes in new role

Before taking on the position in December, Crisp County’s new chief deputy used to work in investigations. But when the sheriff’s office car would pull up, suspects would sometimes be surprised who stepped out.

“It doesn’t seem that it takes but just a few minutes when you start talking to people that that perception is gone, and you just really move forward,” Chief Deputy Denise Youngblood said. “It may be a first impression that they have, but it seems to go away pretty quick.”

But Colonel Youngblood isn’t a fan of the pomp and circumstance around her situation, as a woman holding the No. 2 rank in the sheriff’s office, in a typically male-dominated field.

This is a position she has been working toward for nearly 30 years.

“I’ve always considered myself to be as good or as competent in this profession as anybody, and I’ve never truly been treated any different,” she said.

The agency’s former head of criminal investigations now handles more budget and personnel issues and works with 97 employees instead of eight. But she said the appeal to work in law enforcement still remains.

“Nothing’s monotonous with us,” said Col. Youngblood, who also spent more than 20 years working with the K-9 unit. “Every day’s different. Every call is different.”

But what has stayed the same is the backing she has received from the citizens she protects.

“Everybody knew me already from being here so long, so I think it’s been a real good community response, and it’s been a real good agency response. I’ve had a lot of support,” Col. Youngblood said.

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