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Meet the brave 'Women In Blue' who protect Detroit neighborhoods

Posted at 12:09 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 18:03:03-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The women who fight on the front lines were honored Thursday at a ceremony hosted by the Detroit Public Safety Foundation at the MGM Grand Ballroom.

Diving into the water for evidence, learning how to deactivate bombs, putting out fires -- It’s no easy take. That’s exactly what some of the woman who where honored today do.

"This is wonderful, I didn't really expect it," said Sergeant Antoinette Smith.

In all, 20 women on both the Detroit fire department and police department were acknowledged for the hard work they do on the job every single day.

"I love my job," said Officer Sandra Whitfield.

Detroit Police Officer Sandra Whitfield used to be apart of the underwater recovery team. Now she works out of the 8th precinct. She was chosen as the Detroit Police Department’s Woman of the Year.

“I’m not real big on, like, a highlight, you know being highlighted for things, I definitely appreciate it," Whitfield said. "I am honored to be here.”

Sandra says working as a female police officer makes her put in a little extra each day.

“It will make you work harder, I would say. So that you don’t have to set yourself aside, you know. You want to be equal with them.”

And we cannot forget about the women firefighters fighting flames to save people's lives and homes.

Fire Engine Operator Verdine Day was honored as the Detroit Fire Department's Woman of the Year.

“I think it’s great because it shows that we can do the job even as a firefighter, and I applaud all female firefighters because I think it’s wonderful to do a job that people said we couldn't do," said Sergeant Antoinette Smith.

These women have some advice for any young girls watching, wanting to follow in their footsteps.

"Just do it, it’s a wonderful field to be in to know as a woman you are helping people," said Smith.

"Stay strong, it's a great field to be in," Whitfield said.

Women In Blue is a fundraiser for the Detroit Public Safety Foundation to support DPD and DFD in the areas of training, technology, equipment, community outreach and wellness.