Public Servant: Horseman often first contact at WPD

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wendy Horseman is often the first person someone meets when they contact the Winchester Police Department.

Horseman, an administrative assistant at the department for the last seven years, is the voice on the phone people hear when they enter the lobby or call the office during regular business hours.

Horseman said she was warned when she was hired that she would often be dealing with people on their worst days and there’s no way to know who will be on the other end.

Email newsletter signup

“I can safely say you never know what you’ll hear from people or what you’ll see in the reports,” she said. “Some days you’ll answer the phone and they’ll be OK and some days you’ll answer the phone and they’re screaming at you.

“Chief (Kevin Palmer) did his very best to prepare me. Until you’ve had to deal with some of it, you don’t have a clue.”

Horseman is responsible with interacting with nearly everyone who walks into the department, whether it’s to get a copy of an accident report, help track down property or to try and straighten out a situation.

“We had a lady in a really messed up relationship and this guy threw everything outside including her kids’ toys,” Horseman said. The woman, she said, was in tears and had not been able to get answers or find her property, which included her child’s medication.

“I told her have a seat and we’ll figure it out,” she said. “It took a few phone calls” before the officer who responded to the call was contacted, the property was located and then returned. At the end, the woman gave Horseman a hug, she said, for helping her through the situation.

Being able to help someone through a situation, she said, is the best part of the job.

“When you can actually help someone at a very bad part of their life,” she said. “With the attitude toward police in society, they can come in with a chip on their shoulder and the attitude we can’t do anything for them. When you actually do help, they appreciate it.”

The Mount Sterling resident’s other duties are wide and varied from locating incident reports, helping officers gather their reports for court, proofreading documents, sending letters, keeping the office supplies stocked and tracking purchase requests, among many, many others.

Those reports can run the gamut from horrifying circumstances to funny incidents, she said.

“This (job) had probably been the most entertaining, probably because the crazy things people do,” she said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

email author More by Fred