UNC graduate follows in dad's law enforcement footsteps

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A UNC graduate is following in her dad's footsteps to join the police force (WTVD)

When Grace Gunter turns her tassel inside Kenan Stadium on Sunday, she'll be a mere speck in a sea of Carolina blue. It's what the soon-to-be UNC graduate will do next that sets her apart.

"Since I was four and five I remember looking at my dad and thinking, gosh, he's my hero," she said.

She's following in the footsteps of her law enforcement dad, Durham Police Sgt. Dale Gunter.

"She's tough as nails," Gunter said, standing outside Durham Police headquarters, donning the uniform in which he's served the last two decades. "She can shoot. She can fight."

Grace spends her time outside the classroom training in Krav Maga and Jiu Jitsu, and knocking down targets at the gun range.

For Grace though, going into law enforcement is about much more than the gun and badge which is why she's hoping to put her degree in linguistics to good use.

"With a major in linguistics, everyone is kind of like, what is that? What are you gonna do with that?" She said.

Grace said her study of language has strengthened her communication skills to better interact with people.

"I want to have a certain level of compassion and I'm really into the idea of community policing where you're very involved with the community," she said. "You figure out what they want, what they need, what they care about."

She's interned with the Chapel Hill Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation. Her goal is to one day work for a federal agency, perhaps the ATF.

First, though, Grace must begin her journey just like her dad did; she's planning to go through Basic Law Enforcement Training this summer.

"When you look at your kid, whether she's 25 and tall as you- or 22 and tall as me- I still see her knee high," Sgt. Gunter said.

"I think he's scared," said Grace of her dad. "He's apprehensive about it, but I know he's proud."

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