FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Just days after announcing her retirement, Gina Hawkins sat down with CBS 17 to discuss her time as Fayetteville’s chief of police.

Hawkins, 54, who is originally from Columbus, Ohio, is the first woman to serve as the permanent chief of police in Fayetteville.

“My position is a very difficult position. I have seen men be treated differently in this position. So, I would say it is difficult,” she also said.

She was hired as Fayetteville’s chief in August 2017 with decades of law enforcement experience under her belt.

However, 2020 brought in a new set of obstacles, including the pandemic, followed by a closer look at community and police relations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

It led some to question her decisions as chief.

“George Floyd was another major moment in history, while we were in a pandemic. That was crazy to imagine. Along the way the challenges have been huge,” Hawkins said.

She also said she doesn’t have any regrets about the way she led the police force.

“Absolutely not. Every decision I make is based on data, the fact, experience,” the chief said.

Fayetteville continues to face gun violence and how to handle mental illness. The chief discussed both issues with the governor on Monday.

“I believe that if my family member was going through a crisis, the last person I would want to come is an officer,” Hawkins said.

She prides herself on transparency and engaging the community in crime prevention.

“My legacy year after year, if you evaluated it, it’s a lot to try to sum up in two sentences. But I know it’s a story,” the chief said.

Hawkins said she isn’t sure what’s next for her but said she’s following her faith and purpose.

Her last day with Fayetteville Police Department will be Jan. 17.