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She can do it

This newly hired postal inspector is fulfilling a longtime dream

A female postal inspector smiles outside a Post Office in Santa Ana, CA.
Postal Inspector Lauren Ireland is shown at the Santa Ana, CA, Post Office.

My name is Lauren Ireland and I’m a postal inspector in Long Beach, CA.

I always wanted to be a federal law enforcement officer and I’m proud that the hard work I did to get here has paid off.

When I was 17, I joined the Marine Corps, and later went to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration, where I was an investigative assistant. I also worked for the Marines as an alcohol and drug abuse prevention specialist.

Once I had my degree and some work experience, it was time to research which federal law enforcement agency would be the best fit for me. I sought advice from my mentors, who all said the Postal Inspection Service is a hidden gem, providing a great work-life balance and a variety of cases to investigate.

As soon as I spotted a job posting, I applied. Within one year, I was hired.

I used to ask agents what a typical day is like, and they all responded with, “No day is the same.” I’ve found that to be true. Whether it’s training with outside agencies, reviewing surveillance videos to develop a case, executing search warrants or writing reports, there truly is no typical day.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, running on the beach and exploring my new surroundings in Orange County with my 105-pound boxer mastiff, who is named after Kevin Garnett, the former NBA basketball star.

My focus right now is on my work. I am enjoying learning the job and making strong efforts to do the best I can.

The Inspection Service has signed on to the 30×30 Initiative, a nationwide effort to increase the representation of women in police recruit classes to 30 percent by 2030.

I am thrilled to be working for one of the first federal law enforcement agencies to hire women, beginning in the early 1970s. We continue to have one of the highest percentages of women within the ranks.

Although law enforcement has notoriously been a male-dominated field, it doesn’t have to be. Women can do this job and I’m here to be an example of that.

“On the Job,” a column on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.