Retiring Sulphur cop a trailblazer and 'mother hen' - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Retiring Sulphur cop a trailblazer and 'mother hen'

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It was a time for hugs, tears, tributes and thanks to Maj. Vinetta Briscoe, retiring after 28 years with the Sulphur Police Department.

Briscoe was the first female patrol officer and the first full-time African American officer on the Sulphur force.

There were challenges yet she said it's been a rewarding career.

"One of my greatest accomplishments is to have people I dealt with when I was working patrols come to me later in life and say, 'Ms. Briscoe, you made a big difference in my life. I don't know where I would've been if you wouldn't have stuck your nose in or if you wouldn't have intervened at the time'," she said.

Former Chief T. J. Andrus hired her.

"A lot of people think a female is not as strong or as able to handle stuff. She handled that just as good as a man. She got along good with everybody and she pulled her load and some of theirs, too," he said.

There were many anxious to tell a story about Briscoe or explain how she helped others. Retired officer Many McNeil, who was her supervisor in detectives for about 10 years, said she exemplifies what a police officer should be.

"She understood that not everybody is all good and that not everybody is all bad. And she put her intelligence and her heart into everything that she did and cared about everything that she did and it showed in her work," McNeil said.

Chief Lewis Coats said she will be missed in more ways than people can imagine.

"Not only is she a good employee, a positive employee. She's like a sister to everybody or a mother to everybody or the mother hen, for lack of a better term. If you go to her she's always got an answer and a fix for your problem. You may not like the answer but she's going to tell you what needs to be done," Coats said.

It's a day of mixed emotions for Briscoe. Her advice to other women who want to become law enforcement officers:

"Women who want to be police officers, you can do it. Don't let nobody tell you that you can't. Just remember the uniform does not make you. You can still be all woman and be a police officer," she said.

For now, she plans to spend more time with grandchildren though most in Sulphur figure she'll likely be spending her retirement as she did in her career, serving others and making a difference.

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