Stay-at-home mother of 5 trades in apron for SAPD badge

‘Women can do anything,’ says SA officer Rhiannon Anderson

Year of the Woman - the mother behind the badge
Year of the Woman - the mother behind the badge

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Probationary Police Officer Rhiannon Anderson had a lot of self doubt when she decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. But, it was her husband who encouraged her and believed in her and her talent that finally pushed her to do it.

“He’s like, ‘I think you’re a good fit for this.’ He’s like, ‘You care about people. You’re smart, you are good at problem solving,’” she recalls.

The mother of five spent 17 years as a stay-at-home mother and supported her husband’s military career. Her children range in age from 7 to 17-years-old, and she says they’re in full support of her transition to a job outside the home.

“Sometimes, I’ll joke and say that I spent the first 17 years in corrections but my family doesn’t like it when I call it that,” she jokes.

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At 38-years-old, she’s finding that her life experience is helping her to connect to those she meets on calls. As a domestic violence survivor, she tries to connect with those who need help and their families.

“When I make calls with women, I try to explain to them that no matter what, you know, if you go back today or you know, that’s your life. But when you decide that you’re done, someone will be here. Someone will be here to help you and you can leave,” she said.

She’s finding out that the job is really hard but rewarding.

“It’s also been eye-opening to how many issues there are and how much work police officers do all the time,” she said.

The same skills she used as mom: patience, multitasking, peace-keeping and tough love are some of the same skills she puts to use on the job. Only eight weeks out on the street, there’s a lot to learn, but she’s confident and grateful for the many colleagues who are guiding her through it.

As the mother of two girls, she wants to encourage them and other women who have doubts.

“One of the things that’s really important for me to teach them is that women can do anything," she said.

The San Antonio Police Academy last 32 weeks. You can find out more about it on their website.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.