JERSEYVILLE - The Jersey County Sheriff's Office hired its first female corrections officer this month, and Sheriff John Wimmersberg said her gender had nothing to do with his decision.

Sally Arbuthnot, 20, started working at the Jersey County Jail Nov. 14 after spending her summer as an intern with the Jersey County Sheriff's Office. Arbuthnot is now working full time at the jail while attending a full roster of classes at Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) where she is striving for a degree in criminal justice. Wimmersberg said Arbuthnot was awarded the Kyle Deatherage Memorial Scholarship for her studies. Because of her hard work and qualifications, Wimmersberg said Arbuthnot was chosen during the latest hiring process. 

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"Sally [Arbuthnot] was a quality applicant," he said. "Her being hired had nothing to do with her being a female. She was a quality applicant and we hire the best people who applied." 

Law enforcement was the career path Arbuthnot wanted from a young age. Her grandfather, Jim Arbuthnot, was a sergeant in the Alton Police Department. Sally Arbuthnot said his career path also greatly influenced her decision to enter the field of criminal justice. 

"[Law enforcement] has been a big part of my life because of the path he took," she said. "It was really just a field that interested me a lot. I'm going to school for this. I knew for a fact I wanted to be in law enforcement." 

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During her internship, Sally Arbuthnot said she was shown many things about the day-to-day operations of the Jersey County Jail. She said she learned how to check the cells to ensure the safety of the inmates at least every half hour. She also learned how to properly search inmates and cells and serve food. Outside of the jail, Sally Arbuthnot received her first taste of what she hopes to be her next step - working on the road. 

"I would get really excited when I would get to ride around with the guys," she said. "I loved being on the road." 

Being an on-the-road deputy must wait at least a year, however, because on-the-road deputies must be at least 21 years of age. Sally Arbuthnot said she has to be old enough to have concealed firearms and finish corrections academy before she can try for being an on-the-road deputy. 

"It is all about working hard and seeing who the sheriff sees as fit to go on the road," she said. "Really, you have to wait it out and do a good job to show you're worth it and want to be on the road. It's a big step. There is still more training that comes with that." 


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