It’s not a secret that there is a lack of Black police chiefs in the U.S., let alone Black women, but North Carolina is proving the impossible.
The Southern state is making history in anointing a whopping six African-American women in these high positions this year. According to WRAL, four of them are in the Triangle: Raleigh’s Cassandra Deck-Brown, Durham’s CJ Davis, Morrisville’s Patrice Andrews and Fayetteville’s Gina Hawkins.
“When I walked in today, I had to just stop for a second because I saw these women, and I thought, ‘Let me just soak it in,’” Andrews told the news outlet.
In their eyes, they broke the “glass ceiling,” when it comes to achieving this huge goal.
“We’ve broken a glass ceiling,” Deck-Brown told WRAL. “So, becoming chief, the honor is knowing that somebody else has that opportunity to get there.”
And they are doing big things for sure.
According to the Huff Post, the women feel the need to do more to prove their abilities to men who may doubt them. When you do the math, they have over 100 years of experience between them. Just look at Andrews, who is the fourth black female police chief appointed in her area, and Hawkins, who was is Fayetteville’s police chief who just became the first woman and first minority in the city to do so.
You go girls!
Hawkins is clear though: As a mother who is fully aware of police brutality, she understands what her role means to young men of color.
“We’ve always been of color,” she said. “We’ve always had those family members, and that conversation that we have with our family members and our friends doesn’t change because we happen to have our uniform on.”
And her colleague Nakia Jones doesn’t shy away from the pressure she and other officers face in a world that sees police as the problem.
“It bothers me when I hear people say, ‘Y’all police officers this, y’all police officers that.’ They put us in this negative category when I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m not that type of police officer.’ I know officers that are like me that would give their life for other people,” Jones says.
“If this is not where you want to work, then you need to take your behind somewhere else,” she adds.
We salute you ladies!