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‘Rough as a cob’ after 11 years on patrol duty

Maria Friedrich retires from Sheriff’s Office at age 70

POSTED: March 31, 2013 12:16 a.m.

Maria Friedrich prepares for her final day of work Friday with the Hall County Sheriff's Office. Friedrich has been with Hall County for 16 years, 11 of them spent on patrol.

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Maria Friedrich retired from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Saturday at age 70 on Saturday. Feb. 5 marked 16 years working for the department, 11 on patrol.

Lieutenant Brad Rounds, watch commander for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, had nothing but warm regard for Friedrich on her last day.

“She’s part of the family,” Rounds said.

Her supervisors threw her a surprise retirement party at the Law Enforcement Center to honor the conclusion of her law enforcement career.

It’s a career she said she “accidentally” ended up in, but it turned out she had a real knack for enforcing the law.

“I’m not saying this because she’s standing here. I don’t work for her, she can’t pay my bills or anything, but she’s probably one of the hardest workers we have,” Rounds said. “She’s always done an excellent job for us.”

The road to patrol all began, Friedrich said, with an opening at the jail.

“I was looking for a job, and I went to HR and they had a clerk’s position. I had three children in college, and they had a clerk’s position in the detention center,” she said.

“I actually thought it was a juvenile place and found out that it was the big house,” she added with a laugh.

Starting out working for the county as a clerk, and not as a certified officer, was actually quite stressful, she said.

“I was working on the front desk and it was very busy,” she said. “There were three people answering five lines with officers calling from the blocks and people in front saying they want to bond people out.”

When a female sergeant asked if she wanted to work in the blocks, she took the opportunity to try and avoid the illness and germs that came with being at the more prominent front end of the jail.

“They got somebody else on the front desk and I went to the blocks, and it was great. Very calm,” she said. “Didn’t have any problems out of any of the inmates, and from there, when you go the jail in the back, you eventually are sent to mandate.”

Mandate training is the office’s policy academy, whereupon recruits graduate as certified officers.

“I went through mandate, and here I am. And I’ve enjoyed every year,” Friedrich said.

Friedrich spent more than 11 years on patrol, “doing the same every day,” she said.

“Doing it very well,” Rounds added.

He explained what constitutes a good patrol officer.

“It’s being able to go out, answer calls, handle situations no matter how intense they are, and be able to handle it and not have to have a supervisor have to come behind you to clean things up and make sure you’re doing things right. We never had to do that with her — she handled her job very well,” he said.

Rounds noted that there can be a misconception that woman aren’t cut out for the job.

“There always has been in law enforcement, and the only reason why is because the things we have to deal with as police officers,” he said. “You’re dealing with fights, usually intoxicated people, most of the time males, so it is a misconception, but trust me, there’s nothing she couldn’t handle. Maria is rough as a cob, I’ll you that much right now.”

Asked what her retirement plans are, Friedrich said leisure and family time activities will constitute her future.

“Lay out on the water at the lake, spend time with my grandchildren, play a little golf,” she listed.

Friedrich has eight grandchildren.


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