OWEGO (WBNG) -- The Tioga County Sheriff's Office has a new Criminal Investigator in the department. For the first time in the department's history, it's a woman.
Big Flats native Julie Kipling said she always wanted to be a police officer. She said it was the local officers in her community that inspired her to become a cop.
"I always looked up to them as being the good guys," she said.
She went through the academy in 1998 and joined the Tioga County Sheriff's Department in 1999 and never looked back.
However her end goal was to be an investigator.
"That's where I wanted to end up," she told 12 News Tuesday.
Through hard work and dedication, almost 20 years later, that dream became a reality.
In January Sheriff Gary Howard promoted Kipling to criminal investigator.
"We promoted her to an investigator and it was a no-brainer on our part," said Howard.
He said gender did not play any role in the position.
"Several people have asked me you know did you promote Julie because you wanted a female in the division and I said, 'no, I wanted a good division,'" he said.
Sheriff Howard said Kipling's track record speaks for itself.
"She's got a great personality, she relates to people well, she can be forceful when she wants to be I've seen that and she's going to do very well in that position," he said.
Howard noted that Kipling has been awarded 14 Outstanding Performance Awards in her career at the department.
Kipling said the idea of being the first female never crossed her mind, saying this was simply her end goal.
"Something to be proud of," she said.
Both said this stands as an example to the community that any goal is achievable.
"If it's something you want to do you gotta be 100 percent into it in this type of a field so, you know, go for it if it's something you know you want," said Kipling.
She said now that she's reached her goal, she plans to keep working in this position until her retirement, whenever that may be.