By Mary O’KEEFE
Straightforward, straight talking: Those are two attributes that can easily describe Sgt. Debra Herman.
Herman has been a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. for almost 32 years after starting out with the L.A. County Marshal’s Office. The L.A. County Marshal’s Office merged with L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. in 1994. For the last three and a half years, she has been at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. This month she retired.
Her path to law enforcement was a little unconventional.
“I was an RN [registered nurse] and a bunch of my friends were going to take the test for marshals,” she said. “My husband said there was no way I could be a cop.”
That was enough of a challenge. She took the test and was the only one of her friends who went on to law enforcement.
Herman enjoyed being part of the sheriff’s department. She worked patrol but really liked being part of the Detectives Unit. She worked the Detectives Unit for many years in San Dimas. The challenge of finding and following clues was something that Herman loved, but now she is looking toward retirement and beginning another journey.
“I am going to culinary school,” Herman announced.
“We are going to miss her home cooked meals,” said Capt. Dave Silversparre of Herman’s departure. He added Herman would bring in food for the station staff, and also catered specific events at the station.
For Herman, cooking has been a good escape from the day-to-day pressures.
“I just don’t like doing the dishes,” she added.
Her hope is that culinary school will lead to another career, her “post retirement” career. But before she settles into that phase of her life, she will take some time out to travel. She will be heading to Europe for a month, visiting France and Italy.
Although excited about her post-retirement life and the adventures that await, she will still have time to miss her friends and colleagues.
“I will miss the people,” she said. “My detectives and the banter with each other.”
She will miss the day-to-day of the station and getting ready to serve search warrants.
“I will miss the camaraderie,” Herman added.
Silversparre praised Herman for her work as sergeant of detectives, the position she held most recently at the CV Station. That job now falls to Sgt. Robert Galbraith.
Galbraith said Herman’s experience and willingness to share her knowledge has made his transition into sergeant of detectives easier.
“Her experience is vast from working units with the marshals and other stations. She has a well rounded grasp of police work and is more than happy to share anything she can to help you,” Galbraith said.
The job covers not only assigning detectives but also completing paperwork and being a liaison with the media. Galbraith said Herman went beyond the simple explanation of what is expected and gave him tips that most would not have thought of sharing.
“We will miss her,” Silversparre said.
And Herman will miss the cop life, but is very excited about moving on to where life takes her next.