Chattanooga K-9 Officer shares her personal experience on National Policewoman Day
September 12th is National Policewoman Day, a time to celebrate women in law enforcement.
April Bolton is one of six K-9 officers with the Chattanooga Police Department.
"But when it comes down to it, I believe in protecting our community. I have three children. So, I know I want to keep the schools safe and the area safe,” Bolton said.
Bolton became a K-9 officer a little over a year ago.
She says she's always wanted to work with animals.
"I'm just glad I had the opportunity as a female officer to try out. And we do compete against the men, but all the scoring and testing is all even. So it's an even playing field,” Bolton said.
But that doesn't mean she gets a little grief from her fellow officers.
"But being a female officer, a lot of the times guys are like 'are you babying him at home?' Those kind of things,” Bolton said.
Bolton brings something to the table that some members of her team can't; a mother's perspective.
"I think that it allows me a unique perspective. So when I come in, I can understand a little bit more. Why the mom is stressed out. Or why she's upset. Or what's going on and see into her day,” Bolton said.
Bolton got her start with the department back in 2003. At the time, there weren't many female officers on the force.
Now, the Chattanooga Police Department has 52 female officers.
"In this day in age, we have so many female officers that offer a unique perspective and we are all on the even playing field," Bolton said. "And I think the community does an outstanding job in supporting us."
She encourages all women to chase what they want.
"You can be anything you want to be. But you have to do something that you love. And I decided that this is what I love to do was being a police officer and serving our community,” Bolton said.
The Chattanooga Police Department is always encouraging more women to join.
Last month, the department graduated an academy class of cadets that included eight female officers.
Bolton hopes her journey through the ranks can inspire them.