BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rio Grande Valley police departments celebrated their female officers and their accomplishments on National Police Woman Day. 

Cecilia Valdez, one of two female officers at the Brownsville Police Department, said her interest in serving the community began when she was a student at Pace High School.

She said the school had a law enforcement program that pushed her to go above and beyond. 

“They had a program that allowed me to train in law enforcement and compete in law enforcement and that’s where my passion for law enforcement came,” said Valdez. 

Valdez said she is the first female police officer in her family and would have never believed she would be where she is today.

She encourages parents to be supportive of their daughters. 

“I am sure that there’s little “Cecis” out there in the community that look up to mom and dad and say ‘hey I want to be a police officer someday’, let them know that you can do it there are many females out there that are strong and powerful and you can do it too,” said Valdez. 

Valdez said she is happy to have followed her passion and said her role in the community inspired her younger brother to do the same. 

On Facebook, the San Benito Police Department recognized its two female officers, Lt. Guadalupe Andrade and Officer Kathy Pardo for their service.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz also recognized his staff member, Investigator Mayra Pelayo.