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Pamela A. Smith Becomes the First Black Woman to Lead Nation’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency

The National Park Service made history last week when they announced that a Black woman will lead the agency for the first time in its 230-year history.

On Thursday, the federal agency announced that Pamela A. Smith will become the new Chief of the United States Park Police.

During her 23-year law enforcement career, Smith has served in a wide range of positions, including patrol officer, academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, commander of the New York Field Office and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division, among others.

She also made history when she was appointed the first woman to lead the New York Field Officer as its Major.

In her new role as Chief, Smith will lead the USPP’s 560-member workforce which serves to protect the “public, parks and the nation’s most iconic landmarks in the Washington, D.C., New York City and San Francisco metropolitan areas.”

“I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as Chief of Police,” said Chief Smith. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”

As her first course of action, Smith says she will establish a body-worn camera program for the USPP within 90 days. The program will start in San Francisco and will be implemented across the country by the end of the year.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” said Chief Smith. “This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”

Smith began her new role on Sunday.

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