Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Makes Progress With First Black Deputy Chief
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Deputy Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has served his community for nearly three decades.
He began his career in the Air Force from 1986 to 1992. After serving two years in Maine and four years overseas in England, he returned home to northern Omaha to determine his career. next step.
He first got a job in the Douglas County Department of Corrections while applying to colleges. He applied to Wayne State College Nebraska and was accepted, but considered staying with DCDC.
“Part of me said I’m going to stay where I am, but my older brother said you can always make more money, you can always find another job, but it’s time to go to school. Said Hudson.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and applied for law enforcement jobs in the Omaha metro.
“I applied for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Omaha Police Department, and the Nebraska State Patrol. And I said, whoever calls me first is where I’m going. And the sheriff’s department called me first, ”Hudson said.
During his 26 years with DCSO, he was able to move up through the ranks, starting with Sergeant.
“I was challenged by another MP who said I probably could never do it. I did it. So I was made a sergeant, a few years later I was made a lieutenant, years later I was made a captain and on January 1, 2021 Sheriff Wheeler made me deputy chief.
This promotion made him the first black deputy chief of DCSO.
“It’s a little disappointing that it’s 2021 and always saying, ‘The first of that,’ but I’m happy to be. I stand on the shoulders of those African Americans who came to this department before me because without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am now, ”Hudson added.
Hudson is now responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office, which includes budget management, media relations, the county attorney’s office, legislative matters and running more offices.
“I’m always up for a challenge and it’s definitely a challenge to move from the responsibility of one office to six different offices,” he said.
As Chief Assistant, he implements the commitment to public service and community service. An active member of the community himself, he believes that the work of community law enforcement officers can benefit police-community relations.
Hudson is a member of the board of directors of the Black Police Officers Association. He is also a member of the Latin American Police Association, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, the National Coalition of Black Women, Men Against Domestic Violence, the Women’s Center for Advancement and 100 Men black. He recently became a counselor for the Criminal Justice Program at Metro Community College.
It is important for Hudson to represent the good side of the police.
“I know not everyone can spend hundreds of hours each year on extra time off, not get paid to do what I do, but the difference is that I really care about our community, and I want to see our community and law enforcement build this bridge and come together more, so if I have to, absolutely no problem, ”he said.
One of Hudson’s goals as deputy chief is to diversify the department.
“What I’m trying to do is change a few rules about our recruiting process so that we can try to attract more minorities. I think having more not only ethnic but also gender minorities brings a diversity of different thinking. So that can only make us a better agency, ”he said.
Hudson says he encourages minority children to join law enforcement to create more diverse representation in law enforcement.
He says he said to groups of children, “If you’re not interested in the police, who do you think will police your neighborhoods?” It won’t be someone in your neighborhood who knows the people in the neighborhood. “
Under Hudson’s leadership, DCSO will soon be launching a community survey to get more direct feedback from residents on how they think the department is doing and adjust or improve as needed.
Another goal for Hudson is to be a bridge builder and connect DCSO more with communities from all walks of life and shatter negative perceptions some may have of law enforcement.
“As the motto of the 100 Black Men says, ‘What they see is what they will be.’ I hope the young people will seek a path to law enforcement. But if they don’t look at being a law enforcement officer, hopefully they’ll at least look at me not as an enemy; not as someone who wants to oppress or belittle them and look at me more as someone who is trying to help them and be their friend, ”he said.
Recruitment for law enforcement across the country is on the decline, Hudson said. He wants to increase recruitment and make law enforcement careers attractive, despite calls for police deregistration, police brutality and demonstrations.
As a black cop, Hudson says it can be an emotional experience.
“It had an impact on me. As I protect the protesters, people yell at me saying Black Lives Matter is important. Now, I understand that – I’m an African American man. I am here to protect your right to yell at me, ”he added.
While wearing and without a uniform, Hudson hopes to change people’s perceptions and continue to serve his community.
“I want the public to see it before I put on this uniform, my name is Wayne Hudson, but even after I put it on my name is still Wayne Hudson, I’m the same person,” he said. . “Don’t go against me just because I have this uniform. Talk to me. Let’s sit down, chat and humanize each other. It’s hard to hate yourself when you’re sitting across from someone. “
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