Lady Police Officer Strives to be Top Cop
By Dory Nissen
The 700 Club
CBN.com-“It was very violent. And there was such a sense of fear and instability in my home because we never knew when he was going to be drinking.”
10 year-old Debra Gauthier knew when her father got drunk her mother paid the price. But one night as her mom’s screams echoed through the house, they abruptly stopped. “There was this silence in our house, and it was an eerie silence. It went from all this chaos to just stillness. So I got out of bed and walked down the hallway toward a light in the kitchen. I saw my 6’ 2” fatherchoking the life out of her. I knew he was killing my mother.”
Debra grabbed a skillet and hit her dad. Distracted by the blow, he stopped choking his wife and turned on Deb. “He punched me and sent me back into the wall and knocked me unconscious.”
Finally, Debra’s mom divorced her dad and the chaos ended. But it left Debra terrified of men. “It was like there was this deep-rooted fear of men. They weren’t safe to me. And I felt abandoned by my dad. So I had no relationship with men. I was shut off.”
Females however, intrigued her. As Debra got older she became sexually attracted to girls. “So I started to struggle with that, those feelings, emotions. There was some confusion going on as far as my sexuality. I started to wonder, you know, I was… I thought I was different.”
Debra started dating women in college. But she struggled with her choice. “There was a lot of inner turmoil going on. I mean, there’s something about that that is not right. It’s not natural. So there was a lot of things going on in my head, in my emotions.”
After college, Debra became the first woman to meet the physical requirements to become a patrol officer in the Las Vegas police department. At the same time, she stepped deeper into her lesbian lifestyle with a woman who also worked at the bureau. Debra was so good at her job she was promoted up the ranks quickly. She didn’t intend to stop until she achieved the highest rank-- Captain. “I’m the pioneer, so I’m paving the way for all the women that were going to be coming behind me. So failure was not going to be an option.”
But there were some who were against a female holding the top spot. “It wasn’t just one man, there were several. I didn’t know if these guys were going to back me on calls. I didn’t have that trust with these men. It just perpetuated that fear that I had for my dad.”
Their resistance fueled her determination to become captain. She never suspected how far they would go to stop her. One of Debra’s subordinants came into her office complaining about his job. He was wearing a hidden tape recorder. “He got me on tape saying, ‘Look, if you’re not happy around here, you can transfer.’ They said that was retaliation! (And) that I was intimidating this guy to leave the bureau. And they used that against me.”
Debra faced an internal investigation and possible demotion. She was placed on administrative leave. “I was shocked. I mean, it was like, ‘Really?’ Here I am. I’m highly decorated. I’m a distinguished officer. I’ve been on the department 18+ years. And I’m thinking, ‘is this what’s it come to?’”
Faced with losing everything she worked for, Deb took her gun and considered killing herself. “It was so intense. There was pain and deep hurt. There was anger. They were going to pull this off and get away with it, and I knew that. Not only was I losing my career I was losing my identy. My identity was a police officer.”
Instead of pulling the trigger Debra begged God for help. “‘God, if you’re real, if you’re really God, I need You.’ And I got down on my knees and I just started to weep. This light came in, it was almost like waves of love and peace washing over me. I’d never experienced that before. It was so intense but it was socomforting, and I was comforted.”
Debra accepted Jesus Christ. “I surrendered my life to Him. I said, ‘Okay, You can have me.’”
Debra began reading her Bible every day and realized she had to turn away from her lesbian lifestyle.
“And I read that homosexuality is sin. It’s not God’s design. And I was in shock; I’m like, ‘What? You mean I’m not born this way?’ I had bought the lie. I bought that I was born that way. It was some genetic thing and this is just how I was created.”
When the investigation was over, Debra was demoted to seargent. She relied on her new faith in God to accept the demotion with dignity. “I kept my head held high. And I had something I did not have before; and that’s Jesus. He gave me the strength and the grace to go back.”
After 21 years of service, Deb left the police force and became an author. She wrote a book about her experience and now leads a women’s Bible study that focuses on overcoming adversity through Jesus Christ.
“He turned my life around. My life today with Christ is amazing.”
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