2011 – Municipal Court of Villa Rica, Ga. – I am waiting to discuss my case with the prosecutor. As I sit and gather notes, I notice a female police officer enter the room. She seemed to be quiet and very reserved. Later, I would find out that my impression was incorrect.
For years, Ashley Hulsey worked in the private sector. She was successful. But, something was missing. Ashley’s sense of service was pushing her in another direction. She would often think about how she admired the police officer, who was her next door neighbor as a child. She would think about the impact he had on her as the DARE officer in school.
In 2009, she decided to make a change. She began her career as a law enforcement officer. That year, she was hired by the City of Temple, Ga. as a Codes Enforcement Officer.
After a couple of years in Temple, her previous neighbor approached her and asked her to work for him.
Her previous neighbor, Chief Michael Mansour, wanted her to become a part of Villa Rica’s patrol team.
Ashley enthusiastically entered into Mandate, which is commonly known as the Police Academy, received her credentials, and returned to Villa Rica.
From there, she learned how to become a police officer. After six months of field training, she was ready to patrol the streets. But, there was some anxiety within her. Field Training is like practice days in football and other sports. Driving into the streets at night is like kickoff in a real game.
Ashley said that one of the most dangerous aspects of the role of a patrol officer is when an officer is called out to a home where people are possibly engaged in family violence. These can be volatile situations. Oftentimes, one or more people are intoxicated, angry, and or violent. These citizen-police encounters are always unpredictable.
Ashley told me that there is always fear associated with her work. Courage involves overcoming fear. But, a certain amount of fear is necessary so that an officer can remain alert and ready to protect himself and/or others at any given moment.
On Ashley’s first day, she was called to go to a home where a couple was fighting. While the situation calmed and was properly handled, this would be the first of many times when her courage would be tested.
After three and a half years of patrolled the streets of Villa Rica at night, she joined Sheriff Terry Langley and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. She patrolled the roads and served as a school resource officer.
But, her path was not yet complete. In 2016, she joined the investigations team as a detective where she still serves today. I have represented a number of clients who were charged with a crime and arrested by Det. Hulsey. It was during this time that I really learned about her courage.
A criminal defense attorney and a detective are naturally not going to agree all of the time. However, there have been many times when Det. Hulsey has helped one of my clients because she believed that by doing so, justice demanded it. She has done this at times despite being criticized by others.
Her latest promotion may be one of the most important. Some media outlets and organizations have created a negative, untruthful, and baseless image of police officers. To combat this false image, Sheriff Langley put his trust in her to become the voice of the Sheriff’s Office.
While she still serves as a detective, she accepted Sheriff Langley’s call of duty to become the Public Information Officer. In this capacity, she writes press releases, works with the local and Atlanta media, and reports on social media. She communicates to the media and the public about recent high profile arrests, what her fellow officers are doing to protect and serve the community, and educates the public about how and why police officers serve and protect us.
Her courage is only matched with her passion for helping others. She told me, “Jason, I love my job so much that it is not like “work. I wake up each morning looking forward to helping other people.”
I know what you mean, Det. Hulsey. Thank you for your service and continue to be a profile of courage that inspires people to serve others.