Watch CBS News

Breaking The Glass Ceiling: First Female Sheriff In Nevada County Shares Her Inspiration

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — Shannan Moon wears the sheriff badge now, but it all started inside a patrol car out in her community.

"You come together as a team, you come together as coworkers," said Moon.

Moon was born and raised in Grass Valley. From a little girl, she watched her father, in the same agency, work his way up to Deputy Sheriff and then to be the Nevada City chief of police. She says he "was very honored and proud of the service he had, always having time for people, anybody that would come up and have an issue, he would always [give] full attention. "

It was her inspiration to climb the ranks herself and her example of how to do it. Just like her father, Moon is all about her community and that community elected her their first female sheriff, also making her California's first openly-gay sheriff.

"This community openly accepted me as a woman and being in charge of this organization and that is the amazing feeling of support that makes me excited to go out and prove myself again," said Moon.

READ ALSO: Rising Through The Ranks: First Female Rancho Cordova Police Chief Shares Journey

Moon admits she has had to fight off discrimination but points out she's a competitive person. It's that drive that landed Moon in ranks no other female has ever seen at the agency: Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain.

The fictitious character in CBS' new series "Tommy," played by Emmy Award winner Edie Falco, shows such accomplishment doesn't come without sacrifice. Moon learned that first hand. And when asked how she balances work and life with a wife and three daughters, she says there really is no such thing.

"I don't think there is a balance. I think it's almost impossible to think that there's a balance there," said Moon. "It's constant.  It doesn't turn off at 5 p.m. It's that constant.  My family knows that, my immediate family, my wife, my kids, they all know that.  We talk a lot of shop at home ... My wife is in law enforcement as a probation officer. It helps when you have a partner who understands the sacrifices and is sacrificing themselves."

Moon is always looking ahead to the future, for improvement. But she's never forgotten where it all started, out on the streets in a patrol car with her community.

"Being out on patrol and being out where you're actually providing the service, instead of making decisions about the service, I think that's what I miss the most ... The reality especially being a woman in law enforcement, there's so few of us.  We're making tremendous progress but we have a lot of work to do," said Moon.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.