"I would rather be remembered as a good Chief than just the first female"
Shooting Through the Glass Ceiling By: Jean Harper
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of which I am now about to enter, so help me God". ~ Sample- Oath of Pol
Police officers protect us from danger and risk their own lives in the process. So often we take our freedoms for granted- forgetting about those soldiers of humanity who put their lives on the line everyday to ensure our safety and freedom. Police officers do more than enforce the law; they protect and serve. Every day, officers go to work not knowing the challenges they will face. In the line of duty, officers must protect the victims as well as those who want to do harm. They do it because they believe in the law. Justice must be enforced, and they have answered the call of duty. Women constitute a small percentage of this nation's police officers but that number continues to rise. Jane Castor and the many other women who have taken the vow to protect and serve are true examples of heroines, paving the way for other women to participate in this courageous line of work.
As a young Corporal in pursuit of suspects involved in a series of armed robberies, Jane Castor found herself in the line of fire of a shot gun. As she looked down the barrel of that shot gun, she recalls thinking, "you can't shoot me, I'm a police officer". The suspects were caught soon after and Jane has since moved through the ranks, serving as Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major and Assistant Chief before being promoted to Chief of Police. She is the first female Chief of Police for Tampa, Florida and is among approximately 300-female Chiefs, of the 18,000 Police Chiefs in America- beginning with the very first, Lola Baldwin, hired by the Portland, Oregon Police Department on April 1, 1908. Chief Castor is also openly lesbian and says that she has not faced harassment or discrimination from fellow officers during her 26-year career. This serves as a tribute to her extraordinary resume and the evolution we have made as a culture.
Jane is also on the board of the Hillsborough House of Hope, which provides temporary housing to women who were incarcerated in Hillsborough County. She also is a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
"As a female police officer, having the opportunity to serve our great city under the department's first female chief is a true inspiration to me. It shows the great strides women continue to make in the law enforcement field. Our Chief is a true trend setter. It has motivated me in my career to see her excel in a male dominated profession." --Detective Desiree Ayo
Video Below - News Report of Her Appointment
In Part One of the Video interview with Chief Castor she discusses her family, growing up in the Tampa Bay area and how she became involved in police work.
In Part Two of the Video interview with Chief Castor she speaks of her career with the Tampa Police Department. She discusses the changes that have taken place during her career including crime reduction. In this part she also discusses juggling family and career and what's next for her. She reveals a little about "Jane Castor-the woman" in this portion of the interview.
In Part Three and the final portion of the Video interview with Chief Castor she offers her advice to other women and clues us in on the most important thing she uses in gauging her own success.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Chief Jane Castor for the opportunity to share her story with you. She is surely a Moxy Woman and a great example of what women can accomplish if given the opportunity. She will undoubtedly be remembered as being a "good Chief" but will never escape that she is the first female Chief of Police for Tampa, Florida- a badge of honor to wear now and throughout history.
I am the Officer
I have been where you fear to be,
I have seen what you fear to see,
I have done what you fear to do -
All these things I have done for you.
I am the person you lean upon,
The one you cast your scorn upon,
The one you bring your troubles to -
All these people I've been for you.
The one you ask to stand apart,
The one you feel should have no heart,
The one you call "The Officer in Blue,"
But I'm just a person, just like you.
And through the years I've come to see,
That I am not always what you ask of me;
So, take this badge ... take this gun ...
Will you take it ... will anyone?
And when you watch a person die
And hear a battered baby cry,
Then do you think that you can be
All these things you ask of me?