GBI spokesperson becomes 1st female president of Black law enforcement group
In 1993, Natalie Ammons joined the GBI at the age of 18. Fast forward 30 years and now Ammons is the agency’s deputy director of public and governmental affairs and the newly elected first female president of Georgia’s chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
Looking for opportunities, Ammons came to Georgia after graduating high school in San Francisco. She says she was always attracted to public service when she landed a part-time job as a clerical worker. In the heavy law enforcement environment, civilian Ammons quickly climbed the GBI ranks, landing a full-time position within a year and eventually becoming assistant to the assistant director, as well as working on projects for then-Director Vernon Keenan in the mid-2000s.
Ammons developed mentors at the GBI and credits them, especially the women at the agency with helping her become successful at the GBI. Ammons would become involved with the public affairs division and says “that’s when I really fell in love with the public affairs aspect of the GBI.”
Ammons later became involved with NOBLE, an organization of Black leaders, both civilian and sworn, dedicated to providing support and equitable solutions for law enforcement issues. The Georgia chapter of NOBLE was incorporated in 1985 but had never had a woman president until Ammons.
“For years, Natalie has made all of us look good … I am 100% sure that she will do an outstanding job in leading this chapter,” NOBLE Southeast Regional Vice President Robert Ford said just before Ammons was sworn in on Feb. 2.
For 47-year-old Ammons, who is Black and Filipino, she sees being the first woman president as a responsibility that she does not take lightly. Being the only woman or person of color in gatherings is not something that is new to Ammons who believes that it is important for women and people of color to be in the room.
Says Ammons, “I have been in many rooms and sat at many tables where I was the only woman or I was the only Black person there, and so to me, I think it’s a huge responsibility to represent and to say things sometimes that might be uncomfortable,” she said. “If I walk into a room, and I see — say, for instance, like a stage — and you have nothing but the same type of person at the stage talking about something that’s supposed to be affecting everybody, I always have a problem. I’m just like, ‘Wait, there’s no woman there? There’s no person of color there?’ You know, like, ‘How are you speaking for everybody?’”