Can you be tough without giving up your human side? Find out what it's like to be a female police officer on the streets of Dallas. Plus: the unexpected gifts that such a demanding job gives.

Police Women of Dallas starring Tracy, Cheryl, Yvette and Angela airs Fridays at 10/9c, only on OWN.

Cheryl Matthews, The Patrol Officer and Girl From Next Door

What the most surprising thing about being a police officer?
"Weather dictates my days. If it's raining really hard, I know two things:' '(1) There's going be a lot of accidents, and (2) I'm working a lot of domestics, too. People get irritated when they're stuck in the house with their spouses and can't go out for a cigarette."' '

What was your funniest moment on the street?
"There was this one guy I arrested for public intoxication. He was out there, peeing on the street. I said, "Dude, are you serious? What you're doing is stupid."' 'I guess he thought I was calling him stupid. He automatically went third-grade-style, saying, "You're stupid! You're stupid because you have a job that you get paid money for!" I said, "Really? It makes me stupid to have a job and get paid money for it? I guess I'll be stupid then!"

Has your work ever given you an unexpected gift?
"I'm policing the area where I grew up. You would think that would be difficult, but I've had to arrest old classmates, and they're not even mad. They just say, "We're really proud of you, Cheryl." One time, I responded to a domestic-violence call, and it was one of the kids I'd gone to grammar school with. He was in physical dispute with his girlfriend. Once he saw it was me, he broke down, and confessed. I had to take him to jail for assault. I've actually run into him since then and he's taking anger management classes. If I can be a good influence in people's lives I'm down for that."

Tracy Jones, the 17-year Veteran of Dallas's Roughest Streets

What's been your biggest surprise as an officer?

"The things that people phone about. They call the police and say, "Somebody ate all the cereal." One lady called and said, "I just want him to shut up. Can you tell him to shut up?"

What was your scariest moment on the job?

"When I thought I was going to have to shoot a man. My partner and I were going to a call. We turned down the street and saw this one guy chasing another guy. Then he took out a gun out and shot the other guy. So we drew our weapons and gave the shooter verbal commands to get on the ground. As it turns out, he was an older man and he had back problems and couldn't get down on the ground as quickly as we wanted him to. He'd been the one who called us. He was chasing a crackhead who broke into his customers' cars."

Has your work ever given you an unexpected gift?
"I had this guy that had overdose on heroin. He basically died, and the paramedics took him to the hospital. Maybe a week later, I saw this guy, and he came up to me and thanked me for being there, and he said he was going to change his life around."

Yvette Gonzales, the 41-year-old Drug-Dealer Buster

What made you want to be a police officer?

"I kind of stumbled into a career as Spanish linguist with the DEA. We did live monitoring with wiretaps. As calls came in, I listened in Spanish and typed in English, and it was really exciting to be a part of big takedowns of drug cartels. It just amazed me how this information moved from a taped conversation to the officers on the street."

What does your family think of your career?
My 5 year-old son wants to be a police officer/Spiderman. Which would be a pretty great person to have on the team.

What was your most intense moment on the job?
"Sometimes you just have to keep things to yourself. In one particular instance, a sexual-abuse case, I just had to talk to God. It was too hard hearing a little girl describe everything that she'd had to see and hear in detail."

Has your work ever given you an unexpected gift?
"About three months ago, a particular mother called on her daughter, who is a constant, chronic runaway. The mother basically had given up. She didn't even want her 15-year-old daughter in the house anymore. The two of us sat down on the couch and talked. In these kinds of situations, I' 'don't see myself as wearing a uniform and a badge.' 'I told her, "You have a responsibility -- and not just because you're the girl's legal guardian -- but because your daughter is screaming for help." We just chatted for what seemed like forever. Typically you won't spend that much time on a call, but I felt that was my duty as a person. At the end, the mother realized that the problem might be her daughter's school and her new group of friends. She said she was going to maybe move her to different school."

Angela Nordyke, The Senior Corporal/Detective With a 95% Success Rate in Getting Confessions

What's the most rewarding part of being a police officer?

"I'm a robbery detective, so when I'm able to solve a case, lives change. People get traumatized when they have a gun pointed at them, and their property is taken. It's rewarding to say, "I put your bad guy in jail.'"

What would you tell a younger female cop?
My father was also a Dallas police officer. He always told me, 'Keep your hand on your pistol and you head on a swivel.'"

What make you a good detective?
"I'm nosy as hell."

Has your work ever given you an unexpected gift?
"I used to work the prostitution task force when I was in patrol. I was not that much older than some of the girls out here, but I was able to form a connection with them. For example, with this one girl, who spent several years with a pimp. He forced her to prostitute, beat her if she didn't make enough money and really brainwashed her. It took me several years, but eventually she understood this was not the only way to live. We're still in touch, and recently, she said, ‘I wish I had listened to you, all those times you were telling me to leave that life.' It's nice to know I had some kind of positive impact, even though I took her to jail a lot of times and I wrote her a lot of tickets."


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