Sunday, July 14

Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Has Its First Female SERT Member

Deputy Baker / Randolph County Sheriffs Office

ASHEBORO NC – The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office announced this week that for the first time in the agency’s history a female deputy has joined SERT-Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team.

SERT is a life-saving unit of highly trained officers who deal with the most dangerous criminals and situations according to the Sheriff’s Office. The unit is essentially a Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) team, which has the toughest performance standards, with members expected to be able to respond and operate in a variety of high-risk/high-stress situations such as high-risk search warrants and armed and barricaded subjects.

When asked how it feels to be the first female SERT Operator, Deputy Baker replied, “I honestly don’t even think about it because I’m not treated any differently as a female. I wanted to challenge myself and become part of this team.”

Traci Baker started at the Sheriff’s office in the Spring of 2019 after completing Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET). She started in the Detention Center’s transportation unit in July of 2009 before transferring to School-Based Programs as a CARE Instructor in September of 2009. In 2016 she took a position in the evidence division and was promoted to Detective in November 2018. Baker transferred back to School-Based Programs as a CARE Instructor in January of 2019 where she remains as the current Junior Sheriff’s Academy Director.

Deputy Baker also became Randolph County Sheriff’s Office’s first female firearms instructor in 2017. She now teaches aspiring law enforcement recruits as the Lead Firearms Instructor for Randolph Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training.

Deputy Baker / Randolph County Sheriffs Office

In October 2020, Deputy Baker competed for an open position on SERT. The process to join the team involves a series of physical/mental tests designed to determine an officer’s ability to be placed in critical situations. The Sherriff’s Office says Baker excelled in the different categories of aerobic and anaerobic physical fitness tests as well as firearms marksmanship. Current members of SERT voted to offer Deputy Baker a position.
“While she doesn’t think being a female on the Emergency Response Team makes her any different or special, Deputy Baker is glad to serve as motivation for other women in law enforcement. Deputy Baker has quickly become a valued asset to the team” said Lieutenant Eric Wilson, Commander of SERT.
Baker worked with the team from October 2020 until May 2021 as a probationary member. On May 6, 2021, Baker completed her mandatory probationary period and became a permanent ERT Operator.

Baker says she sees SERT training as a perfect fit for her because day-to-day she works in a school setting teaching the CARE program to second-grade students. (CARE was founded in Randolph County in 1992 and stands for Child Abuse Reduction Effort.) With all the training required for SERT Operators, she says she will be even more prepared to respond to any potential situation in a school requiring a tactical response.

“I am incredibly proud of Deputy Baker for her perseverance, dedication and motivation to achieve this monumental goal. I am honored to be the Sheriff who has the privilege of seeing her make history as the first female ERT Operator and set exemplary standards for other female law enforcement officers.”

Sheriff Greg Seabolt