HAMPTON, Va. — When Karen Bowden joined the Hampton Sheriff's Office in 1984, she was one of just a few women on the force, all limited in what positions they could hold.
Fast forward to today, and Bowden is now Sheriff Bowden, having won election last year to lead the force.
She's in rare company across Virginia.
"Out of 123 Sheriffs, there are only eight women," Sheriff Bowden told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.
Sheriff Bowden says she's acutely aware of where she's been and is passionate about helping others come up in the ranks.
"I'm standing on others shoulders, not only females, but males. To continue the milestone, as it relates to females and corrections, I must stand firm so that others can stand on my my shoulders, that I can be that trailblazer."
News 3 honored Sheriff Bowden with an Everyday Hero award and our community partner, Southern Bank, also had a $300 Visa gift card for her.
Sheriff Bowden has this message for other women who may be considering careers in law enforcement and corrections:
"Fear not and get out of your own way. It is the same as any other profession. If you put your heart and soul into it you can do it."
To nominate someone for an Everyday Hero Award, click here.