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Tampa Gets First Female, Out Police Chief


Out lesbian Jane Castor was named chief of the Tampa Police Department by Mayor Pam Iorio on Wednesday. Castor will be the first woman in Tampa's history to hold the office once she is sworn in on October 1, but the future chief hopes her legacy does not end there.

"The significance of being the first female is certainly not lost on me," said Castor, according to the St. Petersburg Times. "Frankly, I'd rather be known as a good chief than the first female."

Castor's promotion has further importance, as she is openly gay. For the past six years, the mother of two has served as the department's liaison to the gay and lesbian community.

"We think it's incredible," Brian Winfield, spokesman for Equality Florida, said to the St. Petersburg Times. "She's been instrumental in building a bridge of communication, and she's built a trust that is exceptional and unfortunately rare in the rest of the state."

On top of her police duties, Castor is also on the board of the Hillsborough House of Hope, which provides temporary housing to women who were incarcerated in Hillsborough County, and she serves as a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.

While selected by Mayor Iorio, the Tampa City Council must vote on October 1 to approve Castor's appointment before she can take office.

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