Brenda Butterworth-Carr's career in law enforcement began in 1987 when she joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a Native Special Constable. After she completed training, the Yukon-born Butterworth-Carr was posted to the Whitehorse Detachment. In 1999, she was promoted to Corporal as the First Nations Policing Coordinator in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
During her time in this role, she negotiated a number of agreements with various First Nations. She would go on to hold other positions and earn honors throughout her career, while raising three boys and making history. Butterworth-Carr was the first woman to lead the national bureau for Aboriginal Policing And Crime Prevention Services while she was working in Ottawa. She is also the first aboriginal woman ever promoted to the Chief Superintendent ranking within the RCMP. Her other accomplishments include being the first female officer to take charge of the detachment in Prince George, B.C. and being named female superintendent in the Pacific region.