NEW YORK – Meet NYPD’s first and only female counter-sniper, Det. Tina Guerrero. She is a mother, wife, and has dedicated her life to keeping the city safe. And by the way, she’s a deadly shot with a rifle.

Guerrero usually starts her workday at 11 p.m. so she can have the days with her children, reported Fox5ny. But as an NYPD counter-sniper, she is sometimes on the other side of the clock in broad daylight for target practice.

The 5-foot, 1-inch married mother of three insists that her highly dangerous job in the Emergency Service Unit (ESU) based in Queens is fulfilling and fun.

“Being the lead bunker on a search warrant—the first one being able to go through the door—to me is just exciting,” she said. “You don’t know what that unknown is, and what’s going to happen.”

Guerrero became a police officer after the birth of her first child at 24. She worked undercover in Vice but wanted the challenge of being in the prestigious ESU, which handles everything from hostage situations and people pinned in cars to presidential details. She felt it was a greater opportunity to protect the public, and she didn’t let her gender or size stop her.

“It’s like a big boy’s playground, and I wanted to play in it. I was welcomed with open arms,” Guerrero said. “I’ve always been treated with the utmost respect.”

Yet she’s earned it as she carries her 50 pound gear pack, not to mention other instruments of the trade, just like everyone else. But most importantly, she needs to hit her shots.

For the members of the NYPD’s counter-sniper team, constant training is a must. The sharpshooters spend a lot of time at Rodman’s Neck firing range honing their craft.

“In the beginning, I really was a little intimidated by it,” she said. “I’d never really shot a precision rifle before. And hearing the term ‘counter-sniper’—you’re looked at a little bit of a higher level, and it’s a big responsibility.”

Although she has never had to use her Remington 700 M24 rifle or service weapon in the line of duty, she must be prepared. During a visit to the range, Guerrero demonstrated to a reporter that she can hit a 1-inch square from 100 yards away.

Back at the base she cleans her high-powered rifle before transitioning and preparing lunches for school.

“You just try to leave that here, and go home and just take this hat off and go home and put my other hat on that says ‘mom’ and leave it at that,” Guerrero said.

She said the support of her husband—Det. Lenin Guerrero, an ESU officer in another command—helps and so does the support of the men in the unit.

“There’s always someone willing to teach you something, always somebody there to answer questions for you,” Guerrero said. “As long as you’re willing to do the job here and go out there and work, you aren’t going to have any problems.”

Guerrero is sharing her story with the hope of inspiring other women to come into this special unit to see just how much they can become and contribute.

(Feature image screenshot from fox5ny news broadcast)