The inspiration for Stephanie Druktenis to become a police officer came from her mother, a corrections officer, who taught her the importance of respecting others, the Daily Record reports.

"She taught me that you can't just take stuff for granted - you have to treat people with respect," Druktenis tells the Washington media outlet. "Just because someone has committed a crime, doesn't mean that they are an awful person. Maybe they just made a bad choice."

Druktenis, who began as an officer with the Ellensburg (Wash.) Police Department in 2008, says she also relies on her "tough" personality required for the job.

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