Corporal Elaine Benade

Hometown: Kathu, South Africa
Joined WCSO: 2016

Before joining WCSO, were you ever inspired by other Change Makers in the law enforcement community?
I grew up in a time when Law Enforcement was a very well respected profession. The “helping others” mentality has always been a driving force.

What are some key moments during your WCSO career that you realized you were a Change Maker?
My story is not done yet. I hope to make a difference every time I put my uniform on.

What are some goals you have for furthering change in the community?
I wish I could show the community that underneath everything, we are just simple humans, trying to make a change. It is important to conquer the divides. I believe there should be more visible policing and I don’t mean driving around, I mean getting feet on the ground and interacting on ground level with those we serve.

In your own words, what does it mean to “serve the community”?
Serving the community to me means displaying empathy and sometimes just being a role model. It does not mean to force change, but rather to inspire change. I am a stern believer in kindness.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring deputies, what would it be?
Stay humble. Acknowledge when you are wrong and apologize.

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Every day, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies are making a change in the community. Some of us knew from a young age that serving our community was our calling. Some of us were inspired by law enforcement and the calling came later. No matter how we got here, we know where we want to be.

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