Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Rep Val Demings is relying on her background as an Orlando, Fla., police chief, as she navigates perhaps her highest profile role yet -- that as a House manager in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
Currently in her second term representing Florida's 10th Congressional District, Demings is the only non-lawyer among the seven House managers working on the trial.
But Demings still has experience with law and order. She served on the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, the last four as its first female chief. She was also the force's second black leader after her husband.
After retiring in 2011, Demings said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer encouraged her to run for office, a suggestion she initially laughed off.
"I laughed and said, 'Mayor, no offense to you, but there's no way I'm running for public office," she told The Washington Post. "I'm a little rough around the edges. That wouldn't work for me. I kind of mean what I say and say what I mean."
But she first ran to represent the 10th Congressional District in 2012 in a race she lost to Republican Daniel Webster. She then ran for mayor of Orange County but dropped out of the race in 2014.
After redistricting made the 10th District more Democratic, she ran again in 2016, when she won her first of two terms in office.
As a member of the House judiciary committee, Demings was involved in last year's impeachment inquiry into Trump's actions with Ukraine, as well as hearings regarding special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling.
In a statement released after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named her a House manager, Demings drew comparisons to the oaths she took when she became a police officer to those she took at the beginning of each of her two terms in office.
"Different oaths, different times and different places, but each oath stated that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," she said.
"My oath was not to an individual, it wasn't to a political party or institution. My oath was to the United States Constitution. I've enforced the laws and now I write the laws, and I know that nobody is above the law."
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the homeland security committee -- on which Demings served -- told The Washington Post "she's a stickler for the law."
"She understands, without being a lawyer, right and wrong."
In her statement earlier this month, Demings said she takes issue with Trump "putting his personal interests above the interests of the nation -- corrupting and cheating our democracy -- and he shall be held accountable."
Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his dealings with Ukraine last year. The charges say the president used Congress-approved military aid and a potential White House visit as leverage to pressure Kiev into announcing investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, a former board member for Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The second article says Trump interfered with the House impeachment investigation by refusing to cooperate and defying subpoenas to keep administration officials from testifying in the inquiry.
Joining Demings on the team of House managers are Reps. Jason Crow, Sylvia Garcia, Hakeem Jeffries and Zoe Lofgren, intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and judiciary committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. The team, along with Trump's lawyers, finished up their second day of answering questions as part of the impeachment trial Thursday.