My name is Maria Herring and I am a Police Officer with the Irving Police Department. But before I was ever a cop, I was an athlete. I grew up as the only girl among my siblings and therefore I was always playing sports in the backyard. I played soccer and basketball throughout middle and high school and attended college on an athletic scholarship for basketball. I enjoy the team aspect of sports and the importance of working together for a common goal. Sports provided me with a solid foundation of discipline and dedication. What I enjoyed most about the teams I was a part of, was that everyone had different skill sets, personalities, and leadership styles and we all found a way to create an environment for each other to be successful in our specified roles. As I grew older and continued to pursue my interest in law enforcement, I realized that working for a police department is very much like being a part of a sports team. Your co-workers have your back just like your teammates would. You create bonds with people you would have never crossed paths with, and the officers on your shift become family and lifelong friends. And you are all working together to serve and protect the citizens. As an athlete, the good days usually outweighed the bad and the same can be said for law enforcement but in the end, the reward of making a difference in someone’s life is far more impactful than any win or championship. If you enjoyed playing a team sport and want to make a difference, then consider a career in law enforcement.