Charlene Abdella

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Charlene Abdella

Charlene Abdella: Lady law

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Age: 51

Occupation: Undersheriff of the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office

Organizations: Defender with the Puck Ewes women’s hockey team

❱ “New Year’s baby. My parents got to claim me as a tax deduction all year long (the) first year.

❱ When I started in law enforcement, I was only on the street for about a year and a half, and then the opening came up in investigations for the juvenile investigator.

❱ Sometimes officers have a hard time being out in the community and seeing, like you said, ‘perpetrators,’ or people that they’ve dealt with, but it’s just part of it, so I don’t let it affect me.

❱ I was a latchkey kid.

❱ In that position I was the juvenile investigator, which at that time included all physical and sexual abuse of children.

❱ It’s not all excitement and fun all the time like some people may tend to think from watching cop shows and that kind of thing.

❱ It was hard, but it was something that I was very good at, though, too, as far as interviewing the children, the victims, and being able to make them comfortable while I was doing that. So, it was a good thing, but it was hard.

❱ I just always loved photography.

❱ Ryan Hess, Deputy Hess, who is doing D.A.R.E. now, he was one of my D.A.R.E. students.

❱ Eating my breakfast made me happy. I don’t miss many meals.

❱ Actually, as far as victims especially, they’ll still remember me sometimes, come up and even start talking. … It makes it all worthwhile.

❱ It’s a demanding profession, but it’s very rewarding, and it’s not for everybody, I guess is the main thing.

❱ Yeah, it’s a lot of paperwork.

❱ Even though I was a juvenile investigator, since I was a woman they used me for all sexual assaults regardless whether it was juvenile or not.

❱ Everything seems to go in cycles.

❱ My husband’s former rugby club was the St. Paul Jazz Pigs.

❱ It’d be interesting if I’d have started in a larger department years ago, it would have been fine because that’s what you do, but to look at what goes in on bigger agencies like that, kind of unfortunate.

❱ We worked together 24/7 in a business, too. Most people say they couldn’t do that with their spouse, when we were doing the photography.

❱ Portraiture, high school seniors, families. Did weddings for several years, but then kind of got away from that in the end.

❱ I had missed law enforcement, after being out of it that long. Just being out with the people and helping, and being a part of something bigger than myself.

❱ It’s great here in the summer time, but these winters are getting long.

❱ My daughter works for the state, she’s a vocational rehab councilor. Her office is out of the job service office, and my son’s handicapped so he lives in one of the Horizons houses.

❱ I grew up in Glenwood and then my mom and stepdad had moved here to work on the first part of the power plant back then, and when I got divorced the first time, I moved here to be near them to help me with my kids and stuff.

❱ I never skated till I was like 39 years old.”

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