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Front Royal PD Promotes First Female Sergeant

"This is the first time in 225 years that we've had a female sergeant," said Chief Norman Shiflett.

FRONT ROYAL, Va. – Established in 1788 the Front Royal Police Department is doing something new.

"This is the first time in 225 years that we've had a female sergeant," said Chief Norman Shiflett.

"It’s actually pretty simple, really. She was the most qualified for the position,” said Captain Jason Ryman. “I mean, when it comes down to it, it really isn't a gender thing. It's, ‘Can you do the job or can't you?’ And she's proven time and time again that she can."

Crystal Cline began working for the force in 2001.

"I started out being a civilian in the police department. The chief at the time goes, ‘Crystal, I think you should really go through the Academy. I think you'd be good with the community, community policing and our whole philosophy with the police department,’” said Cline.

About 13 years later, Cline says she's proud to hold the honor of first female sergeant. But as the only female currently on the force, she encourages other women to apply.

"I’m very appreciative of the opportunity that was given to me, as a female in a police force,” she said. “I just recently met a woman that said that she has kept every article and picture of me that has been in the newspaper, and put it in a scrapbook. She keeps that because she was never afforded the opportunity to do anything like this."

Front Royal Police officials say gender doesn't deter them from hiring or promoting women.

"Unfortunately law enforcement is still a male dominated field, but that's not to say that a female can't survive and thrive within that,” said Ryman.

"It’s a great career. I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed talking to the people. I’ve enjoyed being a first responder. I've enjoyed being the go-to person. It's been a great career," said Cline.

Sergeant Cline says while she is the only female currently on the force, her colleagues have never treated her other than "One of the guys."

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