WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – “She’s a bundle of joy. Ain’t nothing but a smile on her face all the time,” said Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker, referring to Deputy Heather Boucher.

Boucher will tell you the smile comes from living a dream that was decades in the making.

“I wanted to be in law enforcement my entire adult life. In my mid-thirties I decided it was time to follow my dream,” Boucher shared.

She started as a reserve deputy for the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, became a Shreveport Police Patrol Officer; worked nine years as a detective and trainer with Centenary College Police, and a year ago, she achieved her main goal of becoming a sex crimes detective in Webster Parish.

“You know it takes a special person to deal with the sex crimes, especially dealing with the juveniles, and having the compassion and the communication,” said Parker.

Her compassion comes from personal experience. Detective Boucher is a sexual assault survivor.

“I remember how I felt. And I didn’t feel like I had a voice and I didn’t feel like the people I was talking to were listening,” explained Boucher.

Detective Boucher not only listens, but she also doggedly advocates for victims.

“They have someone they can trust and that they can confide in so that they can begin that healing process,” Boucher said.

“She has a drive that I have not seen in a long time as far as wanting to complete her cases and get the job done and get it right,” Parker said.

It’s because she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t give up on in the fight for justice and she’s so grateful she didn’t give up on her dream.

“I know life happens and sometimes you have to wait,” Boucher said. “But it’s worth doing it. It was worth the wait for me.”