Montgomery County hires 70-year-old grandma as deputy
At 70 years old, Mary Sikes is finally embarking on the career she always wanted: To be a law enforcement officer.
On Monday, the Magnolia resident passed the state exam to become a licensed officer and was sworn in as a reserve deputy for Montgomery County's Precinct 5 Constable's Office.
The mother of two sons and grandmother of four is one of four people in her law enforcement class at Lone Star College-North Harris to land a job before graduation. Sikes will graduate, outfitted in her deputy uniform, and receive her badge Wednesday.
"I feel wonderful," Sikes said after taking the grueling three-hour exam. "This has been a stressful year, but right now I'm smiling so much my face hurts."
As a reserve deputy, Sikes will be a volunteer, working in the office and mostly handling calls. She'll carry a gun and handcuffs, but she won't be on the streets. That's OK with her. Just having the opportunity to be a part of something she loves is rewarding enough, Sikes said.
"Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be a homicide detective," Sikes said last week, donning one of her academy uniforms gray T-shirt, black cargo pants and black boots.
"I was raised during World War II in a family that had rules and believed in duty, honor and love of country," she said. "That was the norm. I never outgrew it."
Sikes is believed to be the oldest woman to graduate from Law Enforcement Academy at Lone Star College-North Harris, said Robert Lovelace, the academy's lead instructor.
Sikes' son Jim Sikes, 48, said he is proud of his mother. He said he at first "thought she was nuts" but knew she would make it through the academy.
Mary Sikes, who grew up in Houston, planned to join the Houston Police Department after high school graduation. Back then, she said, the department required women to have 60 hours of college credit, so she enrolled at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. That's when she met and fell in love with Tommy Sikes. They got married, and she became pregnant. She promised her husband she'd stay home and raise their children. She never finished school.
Her passion for law enforcement, however, never waned.
After 50 years of marriage, Mary Sikes applied to the Law Enforcement Academy in August on the advice of a police officer friend. Initially, it was to do research for a book she's writing about a woman training to become a police officer.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.chron.com.
“Time flies like an arrow...”
Since: Mar 07
"fruit flies like a banana"
#1 Jul 29, 2008
Go, Granny, Go!
#2 Aug 1, 2008
Way to go Mary!! You are an inspiration, that as long as you put your mind to something it can be done!!
#3 Feb 1, 2010
This gives me hope too at age 50, work in corrections but I want to embark on Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Career which is a police job and requires police academy
#4 Feb 3, 2010
good luck tom fish and game officers have some of the biggest balls in law enforcement!
#5 Nov 1, 2010
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