Mayor Pam Iorio appointed the city of Tampa's first woman and first openly Lesbian Police Chief, Jane Castor.
She will be sworn in on Oct. 1, marking a huge milestone for the city and for the LGBT community. Castor is a mother of two and has served as the department's liaison to Tampa's LGBT community.
Castor thanked the people who came before her, making her appointment possible:
When I came on the department 25 years ago, the trails had already been blazed. I've never had any issues within this department or within this city.
Equality Florida Executive Director (and Bilerico Florida Contributor) Nadine Smith praised the appointment:
There was a time when sexism and homophobia would have prevented the most qualified candidate from getting selected. And so it is a testament to her impressive résumé and the progress we've made as a society that she's been named as the new police chief.
Oddly enough, in most of the mainstream media coverage, Castor's sexual orientation and the milestone of her appointment as an open lesbian was never mentioned. Says Smith:
If you deem it's important to say she's the first woman police chief, then it's equally significant to say she's the first openly lesbian chief. She's out and she always has been.
Regardless, Castor has been credited with much of Tampa's reduction in crime in recent years. Her move to the top spot is sure to not only continue to reduce crime, but also bridge the gap for the Tampa LGBT community.
Congratulations, Police Chief Castor!