LAKE POWELL, Utah (ABC4) — For people who love summer life on the water, there’s a police job that lets you do it every day. ABC4 met a state wildlife officer who gets paid to go to Lake Powell, in this edition of Behind the Badge.

Utah’s beloved Lake Powell – a water oasis for boaters, kayakers exploring the canyons, water babies, and anyone up for big splashy fun. For many it’s a summer getaway, but for Utah Conservation Officer Cheyenne Hudson, patrolling Powell is part of her job.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Hudson.

Officer Hudson with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources covers everything from Capitol Reef National Park down to Bullfrog Marina in Lake Powell. In the summer she spends much of her day ensuring people are being smart on the water.  

“I’m usually most likely looking for fishing violations, boat registration, boater safety… you’ll see people on the back of their boats… there have been cases before where the carbon dioxide back there makes people lightheaded and then they tend to fall off,” Hudson said.

Hudson likes helping people but said sometimes out there it can be a hurdle. She’s one of only five female officers working for the Utah Department of Natural Resources throughout the entire state and said that comes with challenges.

She told ABC4 it can be sometimes frustrating being one of the few women in the field.

“Sometimes the public won’t take you as seriously, that’s probably one of the frustrations, kind of explaining that you actually are an officer,” said Hudson.  

While a woman with a badge may be an adjustment, wearing a uniform is something Hudson’s used to. In college, she was a soccer standout at the University of Pittsburgh. She said the high-paced nature of the game prepped her for the physical demands of the job.

“When we go in on investigations it could be a four-mile hike, one way to get to an animal, there’s a lot of physical tasks,” she said.

When those tasks take her to the lake, just like everyone else there seeking serenity and summer fun, she said there’s no place she’d rather be.

Hudson said she wasted no time taking the job. She took her last college exam on a Friday, flew out to Utah on a Sunday, and started work on Monday.

It happened fast, to say the least.