ELLSWORTH – After 37 years of service, Dorothy Small has decided to turn in her badge. Better known as Dotty, the Ellsworth detective was the first woman officer in Hancock County.
“It was outside of the norm,” said Small. “I don’t know how many times I had to go talk to groups about being the first woman law enforcement officer, and what it was like and all that…and now it’s the norm.”
Small’s career included four officer of the year distinctions. She started as a dispatcher, then became a patrol officer and has been a detective for the past 19 years. She says it’s a bittersweet goodbye, but it’s time to hand over her duties to the next generation.
“Everything you do revolves around the people that you work with,” said Small. “They become your brothers and sisters and all that, and I’ve reached the age now where I’m the mother, so it’s time to let the kids take over.”
Small says she doesn’t have any big retirement plans, but wants to spend more time with her mother, husband, daughter and grandchildren.