Knox County swears-in first ever female merit patrol deputy

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KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – This week, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office swore-in their first ever female merit patrol deputy.

Johanna Carney, Knox County’s newest deputy, says her career in law enforcement started with her interest in a hobby.

“I got into kickboxing. I became an amateur kickboxer. I do that for fun now, but my coach, there was a job opening at work release and he contacted me about it and said ‘I think you’d be a really good fit,'” said Johanna Carney, Knox County merit deputy.

Before becoming a deputy, Carney worked as a jail officer for Knox County but later decided she wanted a new position with the office.

“I planned on staying there but the longer I worked at it, the more I thought I might really like to get out on the road,” Carney said.

Carney will soon have the opportunity to get out on the roads after she was sworn-in as a merit deputy on Tuesday.

She also made history by becoming the first female to ever hold this title in Knox County.

“I knew there were no females at the moment but I didn’t know there hadn’t ever been any,” Carney said.

Sheriff Doug Vantlin says Carney’s swearing-in is historic and it was what she showed during the hiring process that got her to where she is now.

“She went through everything with flying colors. She finished towards the top. She wasn’t hired because she’s a female, she was hired because of her testing scores and she just happened to be a female,” Vantlin said.

Carney says she excited to serve her community and she hopes her story can inspire some others.

“I have a teenage niece and I want role models for her to look at and say I can do or be anything I want to be, so that to me is significant,” Carney said.

Sheriff Vantlin says there has been female reserve deputies but Carney is the first to be merited.

Carney still has to complete some training before she begins patrolling.

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