By Amy Wolfford; Staff Writer Record (Greensboro, NC) Copyright 2001 News & Record (Greensboro, NC) News & Record (Greensboro, NC) February 24, 2001, Saturday, Greensboro/High Edition
(WINSTON-SALEM)The city's female chief promoted two women to high-ranking posts this week - making the police department one of the top in the nation with women in upper-management positions.
Patricia D. Norris was presented Thursday as the city's newest assistant chief. She is one of two in the department to hold that rank and will command the field services bureau beginning March 5.
Also promoted was Teresa H. Hicks. She is one of seven captains on the force, and the only woman in this position that falls directly under assistant chief.
''I think it's the fact that we've been around long enough to advance to the senior positions,'' said Chief Linda G. Davis, who has been with the department 30 years and chief for two. ''We've taken advantage of training opportunities and experience, learned on the job and consequently are able to assume leadership roles.''
Norris and Hicks were not promoted simply because they are female, Davis said. ''I want competent people around me. I don't care who they are. Race and gender don't matter as long as they can do the job.''
Winston-Salem has about 450 sworn officers and a population near 170,000. Fifty-one officers - just over 10 percent - are women.
Norris, 46, said she doesn't think much about being a female officer. ''I look at it as having a job to do. I felt I was just as competent as any other employee, woman or man,'' she said.
And she credits her boss. ''Chief Davis is one of the trailblazers,'' Norris said. ''Because of her opening doors for others, there were opportunities.''
Greensboro also has a female assistant police chief. V.K. Powell was promoted in January and is the first woman in the city to hold that position.
Statistics from the National Center for Women and Policing show few women nationwide hold these posts. In a 1999 report the center ranked Winston-Salem as sixth in the country for percentage of women in top positions.
Because females hold about 14 percent of all sworn law-enforcement jobs and about 9 percent of departments' supervisory positions nationwide, center director Penny Harrington was impressed with Davis' promotions.
''I give her a lot of credit for saying, 'I'll take the best people, and if they're a woman, that's OK,'' Harrington said.