DICKINSON, Texas - Down I-45 South a town in Galveston County is making history tonight. The Dickinson Police Department now has its first African American female police officer.
It's hard to believe in the year 2020 we're still seeing firsts regarding minorities but as the Chief of the Dickinson Police Department told me, he's not sure why it took so long but “we're here now ... diversity is important”.
Chief Ron Morales also describes Officer Chasity Porter as “topnotch, top-shelf."
The newest Dickinson Police Officer on the 32 member force certainly stands out.
"She's trained and experienced in mental health. She's a trained and experienced EMT. She's a trained and experienced firefighter. She's a state of the art police officer. I think this is where the nation's going. When you dial 911 this is the type of officer that is going to arrive at your door. I think this is our future,” explains Chief Morales as he talks about the department's first black female officer.
"I come to work because I like to help people and so when I hear all these things about being the first it's very humbling to me,” smiles Officer Porter.
“I think it's a huge accomplishment for our agency and it's even larger for what we're doing as a nation,” adds Dickinson Police Department Capt. Oscar Stoker.
Departments like Dickinson are responding as protestors across the country call for equality and say too many minority men are dying at the hands of officers.
"My son, my brother, my father, my uncles, cousins they all look like you guys. I'm here for you. I'm here for all of the citizens but if you have that level of comfort where you can talk to me, that can help deescalate the situation,” says Porter.
"Without diversity, we lose. We are losing and behind the eight ball if we can't be diverse as an agency and as a people,” says Capt. Stoker who is one of two African American men on the Dickinson Police Department Command Staff.
"And I'm the Hispanic of the group,” says Chief Morales who credits Captain Stoker for luring Officer Porter to the department even when she wasn't looking for a job.
"My first couple of encounters with her she had just a phenomenal attitude and that's huge in our business,” says Stoker.
“She has such a huge, positive attitude. Always has a smile on her face. Just as important as being highly qualified and coming to the job with great experience, she does it with compassion and empathy, which is awesome and I don't think that's something you can go to college for or go to a class to get. I hope she keeps that throughout her career,” says Chief Morales.
"I'm out all day. You'll see me with my windows rolled down riding through the neighborhoods. I'm singing. I'm waving. I'm smiling,” explains Officer Porter with a smile on her face as she says the sentence.
This EMT turned firefighter turned police officer and history maker hopes girls of all colors will see her and be inspired to achieve anything their heart desires.
"The options are limitless and I'm just glad they get to see me in this roll. It's not just a boys club anymore".