WACO, Texas — The Texas Department of Public Safety has named the first female Texas Ranger major in the organization's 200-year history to serve Texas Ranger Company "F", stationed in Waco.
As a Ranger major Wende Wakeman will oversee 27 Rangers and three lieutenants across the region that spans just south of Dallas to south of San Antonio, encompassing the central part of Texas.
"I've moved from an administrative position to an operational position," Wakeman said. "I'll be out in the field and I'll be overseeing the daily investigations of the Rangers within my area."
Wakeman said she previously oversaw administrative duties at department headquarters in Austin, while also overseeing the sexual assault kit initiative grants the department receives from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
The money is used to fund the collection of DNA from offenders who owe samples to the state.
"Male, female, it doesn't matter," Wakeman said. "With hard work, a great work ethic, experience, anybody can really make their own way."
Wakeman has almost 16 years of experience in the field and through her history working cases, she said she hopes her front lines experience will contribute to the success of the department as a whole.
"There's a lot of new technologies and techniques," Wakeman said. "I just want to support my field Rangers and make sure they get the training they need to be successful."
Even being the first woman to take on the new role, Wakeman said "It's achievable for anybody."
"I'm very proud and very humbled to be here and to be given this opportunity by our department and by my bosses," Wakeman said. "Honestly I think everyone else is making a bit bigger deal of it than it actually is."
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