HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — In this week’s segment of First Responder Friday, we are highlighting Cpl. Gina Barone with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office.

“When it’s go time, it’s go time,” Cpl. Barone said.

For Cpl. Gina Barone, law enforcement plays a big part in her life. Not only does it run in her family, but it’s also something she has always had a passion for. 

“I decided in high school that I was gonna go to the academy for pre-law, then at the academy, I got offered an internship with the sheriff’s office,” Cpl. Barone said. “Then I decided to become a booking clerk here.”

After some time as a booking clerk with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, Cpl. Barone said she couldn’t handle being behind the desk any longer. She wanted to do more.

“I was trying to jump over the desk every day, every time something happened. So I decided to become an officer,” she said.

And she’s been with the sheriff’s office ever since; for four and a half years to be exact. 

Cpl. Barone is a supervisor at J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where she oversees part of the Emergency Response Team.

“I check on the team, I make sure they’re okay,” she said. “When things happen unexpectedly in the jail, they call me, I put the team together and we go handle it.”

She said the most difficult part of the job is being able to think quickly. Although formulating a plan is easy, things can often change suddenly.

“You have to be able to make another plan on your toes, which is easy for me, but it’s difficult given the situation at times,” she said.

What many assume to be a stressful environment 24/7, Cpl. Barone said it’s not always a fight. A lot of times it’s more of a mind game than muscle.

“As long as you give people the courtesy and respect as a human being, because they are human beings, they are just human beings that took a different path in life than I did,” she said.

At the end of the day, the most rewarding part of the job she said, going home to her kids.

“If I’m wearing this at home or they see pictures of me, they’re like, ‘oh, my mom’s so cool,’ and I’m like, not really, but I love that you think that,” she said.

If you’d like to nominate someone for First Responder Friday, send us an email at News@wbtw.com.