Photo courtesy of The Baltimore Sun
January 19, 2019
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced on Tuesday, January 8th that former Howard County police captain Lisa Myers will become the first female and the first African American police chief of the county.
County Executive Calvin Ball told the Howard County Times, “It demonstrates a breaking of the glass ceiling for women and minorities.” In the last 50 years, women and minorities have made huge strides in entering job fields and management, according to a report released by the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission. In 2013, over half of professional jobs in the United States were held by women. This is a huge difference from in 1966 when that number was just 14 percent.
Gender is not the only factor in this situation, however. Students at Atholton voiced their opinions on why they believe race should not matter when it comes to finding the right person for the job. Junior Natalie Lewis said, “We should not hire someone on the basis of race but if they’re right for the job. Then the representation is an added plus!”
Many other students had similar opinions on the hiring of Lisa Myers. Senior Sierra Frey said, “As long as a person sees every color as equal and the same, then it does not matter what color or background someone comes from.” I couldn’t agree more with my fellow Atholton students. We should all remember that no one should be judged based on their race or ethnicity, but on if they are qualified for the job and be given an equal opportunity to show their own abilities.
There is an increase in the number of females becoming officers. FBI statistics for 2013 showed that in communities of fewer than 10,000 people, female officers make up about 21 percent of the police force. Howard County’s population is 52 percent white, almost 20 percent black or African-American, about 19 percent Asian, and 6.8 percent Hispanic or Latino according to the Howard County Times. Myers talked about reflecting the community’s diversity in leadership roles with the Howard County Times. “It’s important that people see our police department and leadership reflect the diversity of the community,” she said to the Howard County Times.
Lisa Myers is hopefully just the start of more women getting the opportunity to lead a department whether it’s the police force or not. Also, other counties in the state of Maryland will see that race, gender, and ethnicity do not matter when it comes to finding the right person for the job. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball proved that it is possible for a change in a community. “She is exactly the type of leader we need in our community,” he said, “one who works collaboratively with officers and residents to strengthen safety and trust in Howard County,” he said to the Howard County Times.