A relative newcomer to Carlsbad, Eddy County Sheriff’s Lt. Amy Dugas worked on bettering her community as a law enforcement official, parent and advocate for abused children.
Dugas, a Carlsbad resident for nearly eight years has risen through the ranks of the Eddy County Sheriff’s.
Law enforcement runs in the family
Dugas grew up in Comanche, Texas near Dallas. Her grandfather Glen Carr, was sheriff of Mills County, Texas and her father, John Salter Jr. was a corrections officer for nearly 25 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
From 1989 to 1996 Dugas spent time around her grandfather and decided she would carry on the family’s law enforcement tradition.
Her career began in 2007 as an emergency dispatcher in Clovis, but Dugas wanted to do more than answer phone calls and dispatch police, fire and emergency personnel.
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“Rather than taking the call and just being done with it, I wanted to answer the call,” Dugas said.
Dugas moved to Carlsbad in search of better career opportunities with the Eddy County Sheriff’s office, taking a job as a patrol officer.
“In August of 2017 I became a detective through a testing process. In April of 2019 I went through another oral board and testing process to become a detective sergeant,” Dugas said.
Two years ago, she became a patrol sergeant “by choice” as Dugas wanted to get back patrolling the streets and roads of Eddy County.
Nearly a year ago she tested and passed for a special operations lieutenant position. Dugas was the first woman in Eddy County history to attain a command staff position.
“She takes care of a lot. She’s our administrative lieutenant, she handles a lot of stuff,” said Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage.
Dugas juggles work and family life
Two years ago Dugas and her husband Bill, unable to conceive on their own, adopted three young boys ranging in age from nearly two years old to eight years old.
“We were going to adopt a baby in January of 2021, when the (biological) parents decided to keep him instead of putting him up for adoption. About six months later bio(logical) mom called and asked us to take custody of all three of her kids,” Dugas said.
She said balancing work and parenting was a challenge, but the duties of each role often intersect with each other.
“I work and parent all at the same time. I parent the guys here (at Eddy County Sheriff’s office). I parent the kids at home. I take work home if I’ve got to be mom, I do things from home if the kids are sick. There’s really not a balance,” Dugas said.
Her work with children did not stop at home as Dugas advocated for abused children in Eddy County with Cavern City Child Advocacy Center (CAC).
“I started my work with them as a detective. We worked together on some child crime cases and once I became a lieutenant, I had no vested interest in cases anymore, so I became a member of their board of directors,” Dugas said.
In August she organized the kNOw MORE Project! raising nearly $10,000 in proceeds in the fundraising to benefit CAC, Foundry Home and Rise Up Counseling and the programs offered by the organization.
“They don’t really have the visibility for the type of work that they do. If your family hasn’t met with tragedy, you’re not going to know who they are,” Dugas said.