First female deputy sheriff remembers her days of law enforcement

Tony Parra

Roosevelt County’s first female deputy sheriff didn’t earn mounds of respect from fellow male deputies right away. But Nancy Cox didn’t allow her male co-workers — who initially sent her on prank calls — to dampen her desire to fight crime.
Cox is first female deputy sheriff for the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department, according to personnel at the department and Cox. She worked in 1978 and 1979.
“Back then there were no uniforms for women,” Cox said. “My mom had to make my uniform. At first the men would tease me, but they learned to accept me in a short time. They used to send me to prank calls.”
Cox was a deputy sheriff before working a short stint for the Portales Police Department.
Cox is currently a special education teacher in Kansas. She decided to exit the law enforcement business because she wanted to spend more time with her children. Cox graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a masters in special education and a minor in criminal justice.
Looking back on her time as deputy sheriff, Cox noted that at first her assignments were less than interesting. But as time went on she was entrusted with more serious crimes and criminals.
“At first the assignments were like cattle on the road and those types of things,” Cox said. “Then I was involved in a gun busts, where people were smuggling firearms across the border. I had to escort mental patients to Las Vegas when there were no cages in the cars.”
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department on Sept. 17 hired Natalie Brogile, who personnel with the sheriff’s department say is the second ever female deputy sheriff in the county. Brogile had worked for the Portales Police Department for a year before taking the job as a female deputy sheriff.
Cox she still has memories from her stint and how she was worked into tougher assignments.
“There was an incident in which a guy held his wife at gunpoint and he was driving to Texas,” Cox recalls. “We (Cox and other officers) were able to handle the situation and convince him to drive back to Clovis and seek help.
“I really enjoyed my time working for the department. Back then I was young and never really thought about it (the dangers).”
Cox and her mother had different reactions when learning that Cox got the job working for the sheriff’s department.
“We (Joe and Wanda Mitchell) were afraid when we heard she took the job,” Wanda Mitchell, Cox’s mother, said. “At the same time, we were proud of her. It was kind of a sigh of relief when she decided to go school.”