Female officer: Everyone’s the same behind the badge

NORWICH – Not too long ago, Deputy Kelly Hayner was called to the scene of a domestic disturbance. A man in his mid-20s suffering from a mental breakdown was refusing to take his medication and threatened violence against the home’s other occupants.

Stepping into the house with another officer Hayner and her partner were confronted by the disturbed man as he seized a nearby kitchen knife and lunged. The officers reacted quickly, grabbing a hold of the knife-wielding hand and forcing the man to the ground. He was then disarmed, handcuffed and taken to an area mental health facility.

Hayner graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1997 and earned a degree in graphic design from Cazenovia College in 2001 before being hired into the Chenango County Sheriff’s corrections division. In 2007, Hayner was assigned to her current post as deputy and is one of three female law enforcement officers working for the Sheriff’s patrol division.

“I actually went to school for graphic design, but had a tough time finding a good job after college,” explained Hayner.

Hayner, a 31-year-old Norwich native, worked on a small Mt. Upton farm growing up, discovering a love of animals and an appreciation for hard work.

“I was farming for a long time and it’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “I just love animals. It’s nice be your own boss and the physical work is nice. I liked it a lot and I originally wanted to do something like beef farming.”

After graduating college, Hayner said she began looking for local graphic design jobs to begin her career and found none. She then began looking at farther away areas and eventually moved to Houston, Texas for an employment opportunity.

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