New Maumee police officer is first woman to graduate from Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy as “Top Cadet”

Published: Jul. 15, 2023 at 12:01 AM EDT
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - A Maumee police officer is making history. Recently becoming the first woman ever to graduate from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy with the honor of “Top Cadet”.

“Tell me I can’t do something as a female, and I’m going to do it,” said Officer Melissa Echler.

Echler’s been many things in her 35 years of life, a Maumee volunteer firefighter, a mother to twins, and now a Maumee police officer.

She Says she’s always loved public service but had no idea she would be any good at police work.

Echler says the academy was physically demanding, but being away from her family for more than four months was the hardest part.

According to Echler, she was able to stay motivated by thinking about her two young girls at home.

“Right before I started the academy, actually one of my good friends told me this, because I was like I don’t know if I can do this, be away, and she says something so simple, she said, “you can do hard things,” said Echler. “My girls at home, I just want them to live by that like you can do hard things. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”

Echler says she will now go through a four-month-long training program before she can officially be on her own as a Maumee police officer. She’s hoping to take everything she learned at the academy with her, to be the best officer she can be.

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