Open Lesbian Jane Castor Named First Female Police Chief of Tampa
Jane Castor, an openly lesbian mother of two, has been appointed Tampa Florida's first female police chief:
"Mayor Pam Iorio made the announcement during a morning news conference, praising retiring Chief Stephen Hogue for leaving a legacy of leadership that allowed her to pick his successor without moving from the 10th floor of police headquarters...There are nine female police chiefs in Florida, including Pinellas Park Chief Dorene Thomas, according to the Florida Police Chiefs Association. Nationwide, about 300 out of 18,000 police chiefs are women, according to women-in-policing expert Dorothy Schulz of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Castor's promotion had added significance for another reason. Openly gay, she has served for more than six years as a liaison to Tampa's gay and lesbian community. Brian Winfield, spokesman for Equality Florida, said it was that communication that eventually helped police identify Steven Lorenzo of Seminole Heights as a suspect in the 2003 murders of two gay men."
The Daily Loaf reports: "The 49-year-old never dodged LGBT-related questions, but said she’d rather focus on what she plans to do as chief. Castor made it clear that she has never experienced homophobia on the part of other Tampa officers or the public. 'When I came on the department 25 years ago, the trails had already
been blazed,' Castor said. 'I’ve never had any issues within this
department or within this city.'
However, her appointment is still a milestone, said Equality Florida Director Nadine Smith. Castor had served for several years as the department’s highly visible liaison to Tampa’s gay and lesbian community.
'There was a time when sexism and homophobia would have prevented the most qualified candidate from getting selected,' Smith said. '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.' Smith said Castor’s sexuality should have been included in news coverage by the mainstream news organizations. None mentioned it."