-MPW66- The Job of Her Dreams:Deputy Sheriff Blair Dudley

On the drive to the Sheriff’s station the mood is heavy and the onlyounds inside the patrol car are the wheels humming on the highway and Deputy Blair Dudley’s private cell-phone rattling in its dock. There’s a twenty-year-old woman in the back seat of the car, wearing pink handcuffs and under arrest for driving with a suspended license as a result of a DWI. Deputy Dudley takes the suspect to the Platte County Jail, gently reassures her that everything’s going to be okay and in the process manages to make this woman’s worst day a little less horrible by treating her with compassion. This is typical treatment from the most unconventional productive Deputy Sheriff in Missouri, as Deputy Dudley, 28 years old, refers to herself. Her mother worries about her safety and wishes she’d get a “real “ job, but ever since she was a child watching “Law and Order” with her grandmother, being a law enforcement officer is all Dudley has ever wanted to do. This is the job of her dreams.

All photos taken in and around Platte County and Platte City, Missouri on September 24-25th, 2014 while participating in the Missouri Photojournalism Workshop 66. Photo Editors: Maggie Steber & Rick Shaw.