First Responder of Week: Mom predicted Ghant’s career

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Growing up in Virginia, Evelyn Ghant’s mother told her she should be either be a police officer, teacher, lawyer or do something with her athletics.

As time went on, she met a nice man, got married and they had three children together. She and her husband worked to provide for their kids, and Ghant didn’t think much about her mom’s advice, until later.

Ghant is now a sergeant with the Selma Police Department and was recently promoted to lead the internal affairs department.

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“I became a police officer because I wanted to protect and serve, and I wanted to build a trust with the citizens,” Ghant said. “I’m a people person, and I just wanted to do something different, and I wanted a career and to be a role model for our young people.”

Her husband, Richard Ghant Sr., is originally from Selma, and was in the military. The family traveled around until they decided to settle down in Selma and raise their children.

“Selma is a laid-back place. It’s a beautiful place. It has good history here, and I really wanted us to raise our kids here,” Ghant said.

Ghant was working at a factory in Selma and when she heard people talk about the police department, she told them they should join the force instead of talking about it. Then she decided to do just that.

“People here in Selma kept complaining about the police, and I said, ‘Why talk about the law enforcement, just join it to make a difference.’ So I thought about it and talked it over with my husband,” Ghant said.

Richard said if that was something that she wanted to do they would work to get her in shape for it.

Ghant fell short on her fitness test the first time she tried to become an officer, but she worked harder and tried again and made it.

“The first time when I tried, I didn’t make it,” Ghant said. “I said I’m going to try it one more time, and I made it.”

Ghant said becoming an officer felt natural for her, because she loves people and enjoys getting to know her community.

“I drive down the road and see someone out there, it could be anybody in the yard, and I’ll stop and say, ‘Hey, how are you doing’ and introduce myself to them,” Ghant said.

“I just love to interact with people. One of my favorite parts about my job is meeting new people and listening to their stories. I just love people.”

Ghant said it’s important to her to get out in the community and visit with people and build a trusting relationship between the police force and the citizens that will help the city move forward and become a better place for everyone.

“You have to let the citizen know that I’m here to help you with your situation,” Ghant said. “We go through a lot of problems. People have different problems and situations among themselves, but at the end of the day it’s very important to communicate with the citizens. It’s very important to listen to them.”

Although it took her a while to do what her mom always knew she should, Ghant said she loves her job, and she’s glad it’s where she ended up making her career.

“That badge doesn’t make me, I make this badge,” Ghant said. “It gets tough sometimes, but I wouldn’t change this job for the world. This is my passion.”