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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."


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