First Black female deputy honored by Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Major Johnnie Ruth Bussey
Major Johnnie Ruth Bussey(WANF)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:58 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - March is Women’s History Month and the sheriff of Fulton County is celebrating by honoring the ladies who have been trailblazers in his department.

“You talk about a male-dominated field and at one point in the sheriff’s office, it was a white male-dominated field,” said Sheriff Patrick LaBat.

The woman who changed that was Major Johnnie Ruth Bussey.

“I actually did not know what I was going to get into. At first, my application was denied,” said Bussey.

“She fought through that, she came up through the ranks, and gave many, many women really opportunities not just behind her but able to look forward and see what the future holds,” said LaBat.

Major Bussey was with the sheriff’s office for over 27 years.

“It was a journey, and I can say I’m thankful I was able to climb the ladder and be successful for others to come along,” said Bussey.

Now, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has a workforce that’s almost 70% female.

“We are intentional about promoting good leaders and so, we provide an environment where our women can thrive, learn, teach, " said LaBat.

“I’m so grateful that I was able to set the tone and stage for women going into law enforcement,” said Bussey.

According to a census by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 13% of U.S. law enforcement officers are female.