Doing a difficult job and doing it well
Many would agree that law enforcement is among the most unsafe and difficult jobs. It’s certainly not a job just anyone can handle.
Waxahachie Police Department detective Elizabeth Glidewell has, perhaps, the most difficult of jobs in law enforcement. She handles major crimes against children, including sex-related ones. She also handles all sex crimes involving any age.
Glidewell was in the top 10-percent of her 2003 graduating class at Ennis High School. As a senior, she became interested in law enforcement and took a criminal justice course.
“I wanted to make a difference,” she said. “I was familiar with issues children have because, growing up, my parents were therapeutic foster parents. Lots of those kids had a hard path.”
After high school, Glidewell attended Texas A&M University at Commerce where she took 24 hours one semester with a goal of graduating in three years. She graduated magna cum laude (3.8 GPA) in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“I was working as a bank teller when I applied to be a police officer in Dallas, Garland and Waxahachie,” she said. “I was hired by Waxahachie in August 2006 and completed the police academy in the summer of 2007. I celebrated my 22nd birthday at the police department. I worked the night shift with Mitch Bartley as my training officer. Going to work here was the best decision I ever made.”
Glidewell has accomplished much during her career. She became a detective in WPD’s Criminal Investigation Department in August 2013 and began handling sex crimes exclusively in January 2014. She is a forensic analyst, which enables her to download data from telephones. She works closely with the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center and Child Protective Services.
Voted by her WPD peers as Officer of the Year in 2016, she most recently was honored with the top police officer award as a member of the advocacy center’s multidisciplinary team.
Glidewell is the most tenured detective in CID.
“During a recent turnover in our department, I felt it necessary to step up my game to help the new team members,” she said. “We work together and I sometimes help with other crimes. I take this job very seriously. If we can prove someone is guilty and we don’t put the abuser away, I have failed. I have to be absolutely sure every bit of evidence is correct.”
Glidewell is married to the department’s community services officer, O. T. Glidewell. Between the two of them they have six children between the ages of 2 and 19.
“Half of them live with us,” she said. “We’ve outgrown our current home and will soon move to a larger home. Our oldest son is currently attending the fire academy.”