TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Judge Kristen McVey is one of 12 local female leaders being honored at the 2020 YWCA Salute to Women celebration. Presiding over a courtroom and practicing law wasn't always Judge McVey's end goal.
"I grew up in Homeplace Indiana on a miniature farm, planning to be either a veterinarian or an FBI agent like my father," she said.
However her studies at Purdue University took her a different route, she started studying political science and the law started to become more interesting to her. After law school, she worked for the Tippecanoe and Carroll County Prosecutor's Offices before getting her first big promotion.
"When Pat Harrington was elected in 2006, I became the first female Chief Deputy," she said.
Governor Eric Holcomb appointed her as the Tippecanoe Superior Court 5 judge in 2018. She handles anything that is a level six felony and below that is not drug or driving related. This includes animal cruelty, theft, counter fitting and sex registery cases.
"Additionally, I handle about 750 requests for protection orders for individuals that are being subjected to harassment or stalking or domestic violence," she said. The YWCA of Greater Lafayette also provides domestic violence services to women in multiple counties.
Judge McVey wants to have a bigger impact on the community from her bench with two goals.
"I'm very passionate about mental health and about starting a mental health court," she said. "And looking for ways that we can identify individuals that can be diverted out of the criminal justice system."
She also wants to look for ways to incentivize employment training and job opportunities.
"Many of the people who come before me are in trouble because they don't have purpose or income," she said.
Judge McVey said it's a blessing to work in this community and to be a salute to women honoree.
"I'm at a loss for words," she said. "I'm truly humbled and honored."
Judge McVey is up for re-election this November. She hopes to start working towards her goals if re-elected. Running as a Republican, she is currently the only person who has filed for the Superior 5 judgeship.