Women in law enforcement have made great strides over the past 30 years, but challenges remain.
Waterford police recently promoted Patrol Sgt. Nicole VanOverloop to lieutenant, the first woman to attain the rank in the department.
"In corrections, there's no gun strapped to our waists," says Correctional Lt. Elizabeth Wagner. "We are on the floor with (prisoners) all day long. We trust each other to protect each other. When we say, 'I have your back,' we mean it. It's a trust factor."
Investigator Jean Cavanaugh's work is heartbreaking, but rewarding. She is a member of a regional multi-disciplinary team of professionals that collaborates on child sexual assault cases. She is a certified forensic interviewer and is sometimes called by other police agencies to conduct the neutral and specific interviews required when children say they have been sexually assaulted.
Judicial Marshal Sgt. Melissa A. Roode realized how important her job was during her first month at work, when a prisoner tried to hurt himself at the Norwich courthouse.
You either have to keep up with Groton Town Police detective Heather Beauchamp or move out of her way, says the head of the region's cold case task force.
"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness," says Deana Nott, a 5-foot-3-inch dynamo who will shake hands with a suspect two minutes after a scuffle, and regularly feeds and clothes the down-and-out.