INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — A female police lieutenant with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is making history and hoping to inspire other Hoosiers.
Just days ago, Lt. Melissa Moody became IMPD's first female supervisor of K9 and mounted patrol.
It's a title she's honored to hold.
"I didn't really think of it that way. It's just a very awesome opportunity" said Moody.
Lt. Moody said combining K-9 and mounted patrol is new for the department. It's a challenge but she's ready for the assignment.
"I will have to supervise both units and I am going to have to learn two completely different worlds and learn the K-9 world and learn the mounted world," said Lt. Moody.
Lt. Moody started her journey with IMPD 13 years ago.
"When I was a patrol officer there was only like one or two females on the shift or within the areas I worked," said Moody.
She has worked her way up the ranks since then.
Now, in 2022, she's still one of the few women in a leadership role within the department.
"It's not a lot. We are working on it but again, it goes back to having qualified applicants, so we really have to mentor people to get to that point," said Moody.
Her inspiration to move up the ladder comes from other strong women paving the way like her friend, Christine Carver.
She was the best of the best not only was she a great cop but she was caring compassionate, firm, and fair, and I always looked up to her and she was in policing around when there wasn't a lot of females around.
Indiana University Police Department Bloomington Division Chief Jill Lees knows firsthand what it takes to get there.
"On average there is only 12-14% of women in law enforcement across our nation, and as you get higher in ranks, it's much, much less. Congratulations to her," said Lees.
Realizing how important female representation is, Lt. Moody strives to make a difference in not only female officers' lives but those of girls in the community.
"The sky is the limit. Don't be limited (by) what people say. If an opportunity comes, don't be afraid to take it. Talk to people. We want you to succeed," said Moody.
"Anything you put your mind to and heart to is completely possible, and hopefully myself and other females on the police department can inspire other little girls to dream bigger, to break any of those ceilings that we are being held back on, and to be really (impactful) in our careers and our life."
She's already motivating 17-year-old Shaneice Brown.
"She's head of something. If a female is the first head of something that means I can be the first female president, I can be the first this or that," said Brown.
"We gotta see things from all different perspectives and really at the end of the day I want my police department, because I live here, to look like our community. I want it to be diverse. That's how we get better," said Lt. Moody.
Lt. Moody says within the past five to seven years IMPD has made strides with diversity and mentoring those within the department.
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