Sheriff Zena Stephens on a mission for a better future
A Southeast Texas Sheriff who made history is adding to her remarkable story that has generated national headlines. More than a year has passed since Zena Stephens became the first African American woman elected Sheriff in Texas. When Sheriff Stephens ran in 2017 She said she would shake up what she calls the good old boys club. Her goal is to improve the quality of life in Jefferson County. Dozens of elementary school students at Martin Elementary got to learn about the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office from Sheriff Zena Stephens. She says its a priority for her department to get out in the community especially at schools with a large number of minority children.
"To develop relationships at a very early age so communities children in particular are not afraid of police when we see them," said Stephens.
For the past year since getting sworn into office Sheriff Stephens impact as the first African American female Sheriff goes beyond U.S Borders.
"Oh here it is. I had to write to you because of a documentary I saw," Said Stephens reading a card from another country.
A British documentary shown around the world gaining her many international fans. Who are now sending her letters and emails of admiration. So many that she hasn't had time to respond.
"Tomorrow we've blocked off our calendar and we are going to respond to all these emails," Said Stephens.
Sheriff Stephens says it's cliche, but she wants to leave a place better than she found it. One of her goals is to have her team resemble the faces that make up our community. In an industry dominated by men her right hand is Captain Crystal Holmes, and her most recent hire is Brittany Nguyen.
"it's just all slowly settling in and becoming a reality," Said Nguyen.
Sheriff's Deputy Brittany Nguyen… is the first Asian American woman to patrol for Jefferson county Sheriff's Office
"Hopefully with me stepping into this career will change minds of the Asian community showing there is nothing to be scared of and we are here to protect," Said Nguyen.
Sheriff Stephens wants the entire community to feel protected by her deputies.
"From every person we hire from the LGBTQ community and the Asian community we are doing our community that much better," Said Stephens.