The swearing in of the first-ever all-women lineup of officers for the Greenville (NC) Police Department on Monday not only made history, it also served as a big step in helping the department meet a national average, reports the Daily Reflector.
Ashley Poole, Linda Johnson, Antoinette Cox, and Caroline Lanphier stood side by side in Superior Courtroom II at the Pitt County Courthouse, reciting an oath to be alert, vigilant, to enforce the law and not be influenced in any matter on account of personal bias or prejudice.
Pitt County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Marvin Blount III presided over the ceremony attended by law enforcement officers and family members.
"I understand that not only is this a special occasion but it's a historical occasion," Blount said. "I don't think I've ever had four female officers sworn in, certainly not in one sitting. I'm very proud and privileged. It's an honor for me to preside over this ceremony."
Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman expressed pride about the women joining a 187-member force that now includes 20 women, raising the percentage of women serving with the agency to 12 percent, the national average for similarly sized departments.
"A lot of people think that diversity is just black and white; it goes way beyond that," Holtzman said. "The connection that you can make as a female officer goes far beyond even what a guy can do sometimes."