Rachel Stearns, the first full-time female officer for the city of Watkinsville, believes that a good police officer has a strong moral code and can think and react quickly on his or her feet. 

Earlier this summer, the Watkinsville Police Department also welcomed Elena Krish, a veteran officer who is the first part-time woman officer to work for the city police force. 

Stearns said she started the process of becoming a police officer in April of this year and started work on Aug. 17. She always had an interest in serving her community. 

“I looked into EMT paramedic work and other avenues, but my heart [was on] on law enforcement,” Stearns said. 

“I was just drawn to it.” 

Stearns was drawn to police work because every day is different and you get to know people in the community. Her favorite part of the job is meeting people and showing that the police are there to help. Earlier this summer, the Watkinsville Police Department participated in school emergency-response training alongside Sheriff’s Office deputies. Colham Ferry Elementary School is inside the city limits of Watkinsville, and city police officers are often seen helping with school traffic, visiting children and providing educational opportunities. 

Under the leadership of Police Chief Shannon Brock, the Police Department has offered a number of community outreach activities, including a fishing day, an Easter Egg hunt and question-and-answer sessions with local law enforcement. 

Stearns said her experience with the city has been “fantastic.” 

In other city news, the Watkinsville Christmas Parade Is Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. The parade theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” To register, visit cityofwatkinsville.com, select “Community” and then “Christmas Festivities.” 

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting will begin at 6 p.m. For more information, email afarr@cityofwatkinsville.com

For more on this story, see the Sept. 1 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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