Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jerri-Lynn Ortega was among the women who have served as licensed peace officers honored in the Texas Panhandle, during the 10th Annual Louise Daniel Women’s History Luncheon on Aug. 23.
Deputy Ortega is the first female deputy to serve this county in its history. She was hired in April 2007 and has served under four different sheriffs during her tenure.
In 2009, she received a commendation from the U.S. attorney general’s office for her role in helping a 14-year-old girl who had run away from home. The girl was stopped in this county, en route to a rendezvous point in New Mexico with a man she had met on the internet.
Deputy Ortega gained the girl’s confidence and obtained enough information to help apprehend the man, who was arrested on federal charges for enticing a child across state lines for purposes of sexual gratification.
Before coming to Canadian, Ortega was a dispatcher with the Littlefield Police Department, then a corrections officer with the Potter County Detention Center before attending and graduating from the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy.
The luncheon was held on Friday, Aug. 23, at Polk Street United Methodist Church in Amarillo. The featured speaker was Sgt. Carla Burr, a sergeant in the Crime Prevention Unit and Public information officer for the Amarillo Police Department.
The luncheon is held annually to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.