OTTUMWA — The jail's new assistant administrator hopes to implement constructive changes in the department.
Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said Sasha Buseman, 25, was promoted to the assistant jail administrator position after Chris Swope was promoted to jail administrator following Jeremy Weller's departure.
"We've never had a female in that position," Miller said.
Buseman, originally of Hedrick, said she always sought out a career in law enforcement. She considers herself the "black sheep" of her family since some found themselves on the wrong side of the law. She wanted to join law enforcement to have a chance at changing people for the better.
While Buseman is the first female to enter the position, Miller said women in law enforcement isn't as uncommon as some may think.
"And she wasn't selected based on her gender," he said. "She was selected just based on the fact that we think she did a real good job in the interview and has done a good job so far. It just so happens she's a woman."
Buseman agreed, noting law enforcement's increasing diversity.
More women are joining law enforcement, Miller said, though he couldn't pinpoint a reason.
"People have said, 'How come there are no women deputies?'" Miller said. "Well, we've never had anybody test before. But a lot of people aren't interested in working in the sheriff's office as small staffed as ours."
Buseman's position has existed since 1999, a late shift that helps supervise jail staff and assist the jail administrator with the jail's organization and inmate and employee needs. There are currently 25 employees in the secure perimeter of the jail, Miller said, including 15 correctional officers.
"There are a multitude of issues that come with managing a jail," Miller said. "It's amazing all the logistics and everything that happens in a correctional facility in a day's time around here. We've got prisoner movement all the time and issues from housing and people incarcerated."