Twenty years after beginning her policing career, Farica Prince is set to embark on her biggest role yet.
Prince was formally named deputy chief of the Prince Albert Police Service on Wednesday, marking the first time an Indigenous woman has held the position in the 135-year history of the force.
She will also be the only woman in any of Saskatchewan's four largest cities currently serving as deputy chief, and she understands the significance of her hiring.
"I know that it's a big announcement for women in policing, Indigenous people in policing, the Indigenous community and young people up and coming in policing," Prince said.
"I just can't believe that I'm a part of something so big."
Prince, who hails from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in southwestern Manitoba, has worked in an array of different policing areas, including communications, operations, training and policy.
She received her bachelor of policing degree from Australia's Charles Sturt University in 2019.
Prince comes to Prince Albert from the Blood Tribe Police Service in Stand Off, Alta., working as an inspector at the head of the administration support division. Her first day in her new position is Oct. 1.
Prince Albert Police Chief Jonathan Bergen said it's important to have diverse representation throughout the entire service.
"It is important that we reflect the community that we serve ... because it brings a different or better understanding of what the needs of the community are," Bergen said.
He said that the police service has work to do in terms of recruiting and that their gender diversity falls below the national average. He said it's definitely an area they can do better in.
Prince's Indigenous background helps the police service because it will help better reflect the community, Bergen says.
Despite that, he wants to make it clear Prince's combination of experience, education and values that landed her the job after an extensive national search.
At the outset of Prince's career in policing, she only needed one hand to count the number women in uniform she knew.
Fast forward two decades and she believes her appointment as deputy sets a positive tone for women who want to work in policing.
"We're making room for each other at the table and it's just incredible," she said.
Prince says she wants to focus on building relationships as part of her work. She understands technical skills and front-line policing is the "bread and butter of police," but it's not everything.
"I think what I bring to the position is understanding ... and focusing on the human factor, and connecting with people and understanding what people need from us, and what we need from them and moving forward together," she said.
In her new position, Prince will lead the development of a strategic plan for the police service, work on resource allocation, community involvement and assess police policies, which involves determining which policies are serving the police and which ones are outdated and might need to be altered.
She said she wants to work with all members of the community and was intrigued by the type of work the police service is committed to within Prince Albert, which has a high Indigenous population.
Prince wants to be involved with the social and wellness challenges of the community, and work to improve community wellness, safety and reducing crime.
Although she has been overwhelmed in the wake of accepting her new position, she is excited about the future.
"I'm looking forward to joining the family at Prince Albert Police Service and making my home in Prince Albert," she said.