110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Martha Nibler, DeLand's first female police officer, remembered
By Pat Andrews
posted Apr 2, 2013 - 11:22:53am
When Martha Nibler got a job with the DeLand Police in 1976, she was breaking ground as the city's first female officer. Later, she became DeLand's first female detective.
In those days, many considered women unfit for the rough-and-tumble, gun-toting and handcuff-wielding law-enforcement life. Nibler broke the mold, while remaining "a very classy lady," as DeLand Police Sgt. Evelyn Bearden put it.
Nibler died March 18 at the age of 77.
Bearden, who went to work for DeLand in 1985, and is DeLand's first and only female police sergeant, worked with Nibler. She said Nibler took her job very seriously, and encouraged the younger female officers.
"She was a great example," Bearden said.
Back then, women needed to prove themselves on the police force.
"There's still a little of that," Bearden said.
Nibler was a detective when Bearden came on board, and Nibler always wore dresses, which was unusual, and still is, in any police department.
She was always the lady, but a tough one, the sergeant said.
Read the whole story, which includes the first instance of using DNA to crack the case, in the March 28-31 Weekend edition of The Beacon. To subscribe to The Beacon online, click here. For a list of newsstand locations, click here. To have the print edition mailed to your home twice a week, send your address via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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