CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake Sheriff's Office Deputy Mackenzi Powers passed the very difficult test to protect and serve her community...all on the back of a motorcycle.
It's a big accomplishment, not just for her but for her hometown.
"I'm the first female in the City of Chesapeake to go through motor school and pass it," said Powers.
But it didn't come easy.
Powers said she had never ridden a motorcycle before.
Aside from her, there are only two other women who have this certification in Hampton Roads.
Powers said she was drawn to the program but it required her to step out of her comfort zone and onto an 850-pound bike.
"When you first start out it's all slow course stuff you're going about five miles an hour," she said. "They put you inside of boxes that take up two parking spots and you have to turn this bike around, you're locking the bike you're leaning the bike you have to build that trust in it."
Another challenging part, according to Powers, was enduring physical and mental exhaustion of the two-week course.
"Never had I felt so mentally drained because there's so much going through your head," she said. "If you don't have that trust in it, which I didn't at first, you do nothing but topple over and fall over. Once you get that it's a building block."
Powers said the difficulty of this course could be the reason why there are not a lot of other women who are certified.
Even if they do pass the test, it can still be dangerous in traffic
"We have no protection compared to other drivers in cars. It is us and the open air. If you are not paying attention and you don't have the proper training it is very easy to get hurt very quickly," explains Powers.
Law enforcement personnel who are certified will ride to assist with outdoor events, parades, funerals, presidential visits and even traffic arrests.
While completing this milestone in her career required a lot of patience and resilience, Power hopes it reminds other women that anything is possible.