Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary since a jury acquitted former Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.
Shelby is now a deputy with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.
News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright talked to Shelby on Wednesday about her life now.
Shelby says she is glad to be back in a job she loves, a job she says is a calling for her.
Her very first day on the job, she went on a man with a gun call and says it went smoothly. She also says people have been supportive of her when she’s out on patrol.
Shelby says her faith and family are stronger than ever and she focuses on having a positive outlook.
She says, during her trial, the thought she might never work in law enforcement again was devastating.
“Once you become immersed in law enforcement, it’s your way of life, what you know to do,” stated Shelby. “When you don’t have that, a piece of your life is missing.”
She says she is very different now because of the perspective she was given that most officers don’t have and thinks more about how an arrest or ticket will impact a person’s life beyond just her encounter with them.
“Do I arrest people? Yes. Do I give citations? Yes. But I do weigh more about how this affects people,” she said.
She teaches classes to other officers about surviving critical incidents – emotionally, physically, and financially – and wants them to know they can not only survive, but go on to have a successful life.
“If I can just help one officer with one point, helping them, I’ve succeeded,” declared Shelby.
When she was unemployed for eight months, she used her sewing skills to help make ends meet and created law enforcement quilts. She says she also home-schooled her grandchild and she has a farm with chickens, goats, donkeys, and a garden.
She believes all she’s been through, from growing up poor as a foster kid, to now, has made her stronger.
Shelby says, “What will happen tomorrow? I don’t know. I do know I will face it with strength and courage.”
Shelby’s husband also left TPD and he now works as a deputy for the Creek County Sheriff’s Office.