Get to know the town: Ruth Peterman

Ruth Peterman has worked with the Harrington Police Department for 28 years and if often the voice heard when someone calls the station. She is seen here with her husband Gary during one of her favorite events of year: the Delaware State Fair. Special to The Journal

Ruth Peterman has worked with the Harrington Police Department for 28 years and if often the voice heard when someone calls the station. She is seen here with her husband Gary during one of her favorite events of year: the Delaware State Fair. Special to The Journal

Name: Ruth Peterman

Age: 52

Hometown: Harrington

Occupation: Police Resource Manager with the Harrington Police Department

So you grew up in the area?

“I grew up on Grant Street. My parents still live there. I graduated from Lake Forest High School in 1981. The guys here like to joke that I graduated from Harrington High School, but that was before me. They started adding in the Frederica and other students in 1970 when I was in seventh and eighth grade.”

Tell us about your family?

“I’m married to Gary; we just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. I have a son Kyle who is 25 and he just got married in September to Maegan. I love having a daughter-in- law. I still have my parents and my in-laws. I’m the middle child of five, so I have two older sisters and a younger sister and brother.”

Tell us how you came to work for the city?

“When I came to work here I was the youngest person, now I’m the oldest.

“I’ve been here since September 1988, so 28 years. I started out as part-time in the police department, part-time with the city. This was when they were in the same building that the library is in now. That next July, I began full-time in the police department and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve been the secretary, then an admin assistant, and then my current position.”

What was it like when you began with the department?

“When I first came to work here, they would bring prisoners in and handcuff them on a bench right next to my desk. I never thought anything of it. Now, we have more security. You have to be so much more careful.”

Tell us what you do here?

“I work closely with [Chief] Norman [Barlow] on the budget, grants… then I do a little bit of anything that needs to be done like typing letters and keeping statistics. I work with the finance person with our bills. It’s hard when someone asks you what you do. I answer the doors and the phones.

“I do community stuff, too, like movie nights, Heritage Day and our Christmas events. I’ve helped with all of the community events all throughout the years I think.”

Do you have a favorite event?

“My favorite time of year is the fair. I’m a fair rat. My favorite things is just seeing everybody. I’m usually there every night. I was born in June and my mom took me to my first fair in July; I’ve gone ever since.”

What are your hobbies?

“I like to go to the beach. We go to Rehoboth Beach a lot in the summer. I like to walk. We enjoy hanging out with our friends. We like family time and time with our friends. We also have a small group from church at our house on Friday nights.”

If you could tell the community anything, what would it be?

“I wish they knew that the police aren’t always out there to try to get them; that they’re actually out there trying to keep them safe.

“Also, that we are no different than anyone else. We all come to work, do our job and go home to our families. We all have the same struggles, joys and sorrows as other people. We are like one big family and we love Harrington and serving our community.”

What makes you stay in Delaware?

“I love Delaware. I wouldn’t want to live any place else. Delaware is centrally located. We can be to the beach in no time. If we want to go to Florida, we can fly there in a couple of hours. Same if we want to go to Boston. We don’t normally have mudslides or wildfires, like you get someplace else. We like the people; we like everything about it.”

What do you like about working in Harrington?

“There’s always something different going on and everybody’s like family here. It’s just a great place to work. I feel like I’m part of the community. I know no matter what, all the guys here would have my back.”

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