BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From the professional basketball court, to patrolling the streets. Howard County’s “Officer of the Year” traded in her jersey for a cop uniform.

Candace Futrell is proud of her latest win.

She joined the Howard County Police Department in 2014, and is now “Officer of the Year.”

“It’s certainly an honor,” said Futrell. “There are a ton of officers here that do great work that are certainly deserving of that title.”

This isn’t the first time Futrell has been drafted for an honorable position.

She joined the Women’s National Basketball Association back in 2004 as a shooting guard for the Connecticut Sun. She also played overseas during the off season.

Before the WNBA, Futrell played college basketball at Duquesne University.

Her hoops dream was cut short when she injured her ankle during practice and was cut from the team.

“I honestly was planning to play professionally and I had no backup plan,” she said.

Futrell left the court behind and began working for Florida’s Deparment of Juvenile Justice.

She quickly found a passion for law enforcement, and later joined the local police department.

“There’s a physicality that is needed for law enforcement,” Futrell said. “In addition to that, just having discipline and structure throughout
my life really helps in this field.”

A couple years later, she became one of Maryland’s finest, earning a reputation for her community commitment.

“I come to work. I work hard. I put a lot into what I do,” Futrell said.

Though the cheers from the gameday crowd are unforgettable, Futrell says trading in her jersey for a cop uniform was a game changer.

“We’re given the opportunity to make a difference every day that we come to work,” she said. “So it’s not really the same.”

Futrell’s nickname on the court was “Future.” As for her future off the court, she plans on spending it with the Howard County Police Department.

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