BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For the first time in the history of the Birmingham Police Department, a Black woman has become a K-9 handler.

The BPD is breaking down barriers to increase opportunities for women in law enforcement. Officer Michaela Hood is being recognized for being the first Black woman that has passed to become a K-9 handler and is the only woman in this unit.

She has been a police officer with the BPD for six years. CBS 42 spoke to her about this historical accomplishment.

“Ever since a child, I was always interested in animals,” Hood said. “I had a love for animals. I always had a dog somewhere around me. So why not have a dog a partner, doing something that I love to do, which is policing. I have enjoyed my partners that I have had in the past, but I think it’s kind of cool now to have a K-9 partner, and we have been working really well together.”

Hood said that she hopes her groundbreaking accomplishment of being the first Black woman K-9 officer for the BPD will help open doors for other women of color who are interested. She said just to keep coming and follow your dreams and you will get there.

If you are interested in joining the BPD, visit its website at or call 205-254-1712.