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New Waynesboro officer was head of class

December 19, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Rebekah Deeds was like most of the cadets at the Municipal Police Academy.

She hated physical training. She wondered after each rigorous test if she had passed. She questioned her decision to become an officer. She dreaded being sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

Deeds was like most of the cadets at the academy except in one very big way.

She was at the top of the class.

Deeds, one of three new officers hired by the Waynesboro Police Department, said the honor of having the highest academics came as a bit of a shock.

"I used to stress and wonder if I passed those tests," she said. "I must have passed them all."

Deeds was one of 52 cadets to attend the Municipal Police Academy in Harrisburg, Pa.

While only 46 cadets passed and went to work for police departments across the area, Deeds said the class was larger than her high school graduating class.

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Academics always have come easy for Deeds, who graduated from Heritage Academy in Hagerstown and later from Kaplan College with a degree in criminal justice.

Despite passing 22 tests at the academy, Deeds said she still is learning after only three weeks on the force.

"I have not done much yet, but I hope that working with my FTO (field training officer) will prepare me to give back to the people of Waynesboro," she said.

For Deeds, being a police officer was a fairly new dream.

After high school, Deeds said she worked some odd jobs, including managing a Subway.

Deeds said she was never quite satisfied in any job because she knew deep down she really wanted to find a way to serve the public.

"What drew me to being an officer was that I get to help people," she said. "I like that I meet new people every day."

After interning with the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Deeds said it was clear her dream would come true in a uniform.

Staying in the area and near family and friends was important to Deeds, so when Waynesboro was hiring, she said she jumped at the chance to apply.

Deeds has been with the department only a few weeks, but she already can foresee some of the job's biggest challenges.

The greatest challenge, she said, will be to stay sharp.

"It will be important to not become complacent, but to keep on my toes and thinking," she said. "I cannot get into a routine."

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