Salute the Badge: Douglas Co. Sheriff's Deputy Charlie Cooper wins Guns N' Hoses title
A Douglas County Sheriff's deputy traded in her gun and badge for some boxing gloves, to put up a good fight for a great cause.
Deputy Charlie Cooper earned her badge at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in 2013.
Cooper said, "I grew up in Douglas County and I always had a great interaction with the sheriff's office, and as a kid I kind of idolized them."
She said her favorite part about being in law enforcement is the community involvement.
"We get to help people and sometimes that's on their hardest day, but we get to provide an opportunity to change things and make things better for them," she said.
Each year, area law enforcement officers and firefighters sign up to compete in the annual Guns N' Hoses charity boxing match in Kansas City.
Deputy Cooper said, "We want to show our love and support for agencies surrounding us, and we want to be a part of this community that is raising money for a great cause."
The money goes to the 'Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund', also known as S.A.F.E, which supports the families of first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Deputy Cooper said she started training this year, because she thought it would be a great workout.
"After a few months of doing that, I really enjoyed it and was just so proud of how far I had come and all of the support I had got from Douglas County, that I decided to actually participate," she said, "I started working out twice a day. I would wake up at 4:15 and do cardio or go for a run, go to work and then after work i would go to boxing."
For the event, Deputy Cooper was matched up against a juvenile officer from Missouri.
Cooper said, "The day of the event was nerve racking and exciting at the same time."
She said as she stepped into the ring, she felt all of the emotions.
"I was so excited to just be a part of something greater than myself and greater than my agency," Cooper said.
She ended up winning her match, bringing home a Championship belt.
"When the referee handed me a belt I jumped and cried in excitement, Cooper said, "I was just so overwhelmed with all of the support that I got from everyone around me."
Now, she hopes to use her experience to inspire others.
"The women that are in law enforcement are strong and resilient women and I am so proud to be a part of this profession," Cooper said, "I hope that me participating in Guns N' Hoses encourages other women to seek out their goals and their passions."
A Douglas County Corrections Officer and Tonganoxie firefighter also competed in this year's Guns N' Hoses event, but both lost in decisions.