Answer Woman: Is Sandra Hutchens O.C.’s first female sheriff?

Illustration by Blair Thornley

A: Yes, but there was a female deputy sheriff before her. In 1949, at age 21, Alice Chandler was deputized and given the job of keeping trespassers away from Peter’s Lake, a popular fishing spot in Orange.

After a few years of patrolling the area on horseback with her .32 Smith and Wesson (she never had to fire it), she went to work as a cowgirl on her family’s ranch. She later worked for famous rodeo rider Montie Montana, appeared in the movie “The Spirit of Saint Louis,” and earned her pilot’s license. In 2008, realizing she still had her gun and badge, she wrote to Sheriff Hutchens and turned them in to the department.

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