Georgetown’s Norma Jean is more than just a pretty face
Norma Jean arrived in Georgetown in January 2015 and immediately joined the Georgetown Police Department. A new female officer? No, Norma Jean is a tactical rescue vehicle (TRV) affectionately named after Marilyn Monroe because, like the movie star, she’s got a great profile.
More than a pretty face: Although Norma Jean has had some armor removed from her undercarriage, the still heavily-armored TRV helps protect officers in dangerous or high-risk situations. Off-duty, Norma Jean participates in community events like the Christmas Stroll Parade.
The TRV can also go into water four to five feet deep, allowing GPD officers to help people in high-water emergencies. Lt. Bert Witcher says, “Overall, the TRV provides us the ability to safely move multiple people out of harm’s way, whether the threat is due to Mother Nature or criminal activity.”
Hurricane Harvey relief efforts: On August 31, 2017, Georgetown Lt. Kelly Devoll, along with three of his fellow officers and Norma Jean, headed to Port Arthur and Beaumont, where they assisted with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts for five days. “Because we had the TRV,” he says, “we were able to get to people in need that we would otherwise have been unable to reach.”
In addition, the four GPD officers, along with two SWAT members from Port Arthur, patrolled apartment complexes where neighbors were concerned for their safety. “Once people saw us driving around in Norma Jean, the problems in the neighborhoods stopped. She’s pretty intimidating,” says Lt. Devoll.
Thanks to Norma Jean: Many of the people the Georgetown team helped in Port Arthur and Beaumont thanked them for being there with Norma Jean. An especially moving moment happened at a Sheriff’s Department checkpoint where Lt. Devoll, who began his career in Port Arthur, saw an officer he had helped to train. “He choked up,” Lt. Devoll recalls. “He had lost his own house and was so glad to see an old friend had come to help.”