ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office has a female on its Emergency Response Team for the first time in the unit’s history. Deputy Traci Baker completed a rigorous training-and-testing battery to join the team. The tests determined her ability serve high-risk search warrants, handle barricades and take part in other tactical exercises.
Members of the team are expected to attend advanced law enforcement training courses and become proficient with specialized equipment to deal with dangerous criminals and situations.
Baker began her career with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office after she completed basic law enforcement training in 2009 in the detention center in the Transportation Division. She transferred to School Based Programs as a CARE instructor in September of 2009 and then to Evidence in August of 2016. Baker was then promoted to detective in November 2018, and in January of 2019, she transferred back to School Based Programs as a CARE instructor. Deputy Baker is also the current Junior Sheriff’s Academy director.
“I am incredibly proud of Deputy Baker for her perseverance, dedication and motivation to achieve this monumental goal,” said Sheriff Greg Seabolt.
Baker also became the first female firearms instructor in 2017. She now teaches aspiring law enforcement recruits as the lead firearms instructor for Randolph Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training.
Baker’s path to the Emergency Response Team started in October 2020 when she competed for a spot on the team. Physical fitness testing and marksmanship were key elements of the initial competition. Current members of the team then voted to offer Deputy Baker a position. From October 2020 until May 2021, Deputy Baker worked as a probationary member. On May 6, 2021, Deputy Baker completed her mandatory probationary period and became a permanent ERT operator.
“While she doesn’t think being a female on the Emergency Response Team makes her any different or special, Deputy Baker is glad to serve as motivation for other women in law enforcement,” said Lieutenant Eric Wilson, team commander.
“I honestly don’t even think about it because I’m not treated any differently as a female,” said Baker. “I wanted to challenge myself and become part of this team.”