WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Lieutenant Amy Gauldin joined the Winston-Salem Police Department 21 years ago and never looked back.

She still has plenty to look forward to, which is why she’s invested in expanding her knowledge even as a veteran on the force.

Gauldin recently attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. It’s a highly selective ten-week program for law enforcement leaders from around the world.

Participants are nominated by their agencies.

Gauldin is the first woman to represent the WSPD at the FBI National Academy.

“[I] just wanted to set an example and be a good example for others and kind of share that experience and that kind of achievement with other women in the agency, so they know really anything is possible,” she said.

The positive experience would include a surprise visit from Winston Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson, Assistant Chief William Penn and Captain Steven Tollie.

They were there to announce Gauldin was being promoted from lieutenant to captain.

“I was still kind of in shock for quite a little bit because… inside I’m thinking, ‘oh my gosh,’ and couldn’t wait to share it with my family,” Gauldin said.

Gauldin is expected to officially become captain in a few weeks.

She will replace Captain Steven Tollie, a colleague who she calls a great mentor, when he retires in June.