ARCHER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — When Staci Beesinger won the Archer County Sheriff election in 2008, she was one of only two female sheriffs in Texas.
Now Beesinger’s preparing to step down from that role as one of just six female sheriffs in Texas’ 254 counties. She’s not only saying farewell to this job, but also to a long-time career in law enforcement.
Beesinger began her journey in 1978 as a records clerk in the Wichita County Sheriffs Office, she entered into the academy at a time when it was unique for a woman to be patrolling the streets.
When Beesinger decided to pursue a career in the sheriff’s office, as more than a clerk, Wichita County Sheriff Don Gibson was reluctant to send her to the academy.
“He didn’t really wanna send me cause at that time there wasn’t any women on the street, I think Wichita PD may have just had one or two, but he relented and let me go,” Archer County Sheriff Staci Beesinger said.
After the 1979 tornado, Beesinger’s graduation was pushed back. She made it happen, eventually moving home to Archer County with hopes of becoming its first female sheriff.
“It was a narrow victory, but it was a hard, hard fought, bought, battle, the previous year was just campaining and stress and worry and thinking what have I got myself into, this is a rural county, these people are not gonna really think that a woman can do this job,” Beesinger said.
However, she did the job for 11 years and one to go. Beesinger said she’s ready to close the door on this part of her life.
“It’s difficult to do everything that I think needs to be done, especially if I have to go out in the field and work and at the end of this term next year I’ll be nearing 65-years-old and I just wanna be able to do some things that I’ve sacrificed,” Beesinger said.
That includes spending more time with her grandchildren and husband.
As for who plans to fill her shoes, she doesn’t have any advice to offer, but rather a wish.
“I would just hope for whoever’s elected will continue what I have built for the past 11 years, you know I’ve worked hard,” Beesinger said.
A career she’s dedicated more than half her life to, a career she said she’s sure going to miss.
The new Acher Cunty jail was built during Beesinger’s time as sheriff and it’s something she’s proud of.
The building is maintained almost entirely through inmate labor.
Beesinger said she is thankful to her staff and all who have stood by her.