The Harbor Unit has only six women, including Sergeant Laura McCormack and Officer Dianna Balioni, and their presence makes a significant difference working on the job.
McCormack, currently the only city-wide supervisor for the NYPD Harbor Unit, is the eyes of New York City's waterways.
"I've been on the unit for five years, and it's the best unit on the job," McCormack said. "It's an honor to be part of it."
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She's also a paramedic and trained with heavy weapons.
"It's mainly rescues which I really enjoy," she said. "Coming into the unit knowing there were very few females here almost encouraged me more, more something to prove."
Training with the men helped her to prepare for her biggest task of all, being a new mom to a baby boy.
"Working with all men has prepped me for having a little boy," she said.
Balioni has served 17 years with the NYPD and has law enforcement in her blood.
"My dad and my brother are both on the job," she said.
She's an avid SCUBA diver and swiftwater trained.
"I'm the first RMB pilot of the unit, female, and that meant something to me," Balioni said. "I've experienced loss and being able to save someone's life."
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Balioni's journey wasn't always smooth, particularly early on.
"You constantly have people looking at you waiting for you to fail," she said.
But she didn't, instead standing strong, proud, and in control -- and now, giving this advice to other women.
"It's nice when you get to a point of being in your career and in your unit where you're not just an equal, but people come to you for advice," she said. "If you want something bad enough, do it. Don't make excuses for yourself. Don't listen to everybody else, because the second you walk into a room, they are judging you no matter want you do."
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